Marco Melandri felt he was powerless to stop Aruba.it Racing Ducati teammate Chaz Davies and defending World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea in the closing stages at Aragon as he settled for a podium place as his instability problems reappeared.
Melandri continually suffered powerful shakes and instability both under acceleration and braking at Aragon having been plagued by the problem in Thailand last time out. The Italian rider says it ultimately cost him the chance to fight for victory at the Spanish round as he lost contact with Davies and Rea at the start of the final lap in race two after a hairy moment at turn 3.
But the former 250cc world champion accepts due to the issue he’s content with third place, backing up his fourth place in race one, to stay in the title fight heading to Assen.
“I had a really competitive pace but I couldn’t be as aggressive as I would have liked,” Melandri said. “Every time I changed the line to make a pass, the bike was still moving a bit. It’s difficult because we have the speed but we still need to solve this issue.
“During the last lap I almost crashed at turn 3 because I lost the rear brake lever but luckily I didn’t and, since it was the last lap, I could make it to the podium.
“It’s a good result, but we can do better. We’ll keep working hard to achieve more in Assen.”
Melandri has slipped to third place in the World Superbike riders’ championship having led the points standings after his double victory at Phillip Island in the season opener. Melandri trails leader Rea by 18 points while he is six points off of factory Ducati teammate Davies.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) April 15, 2018