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SBK, Melandri: a crazy race, I'm so happy

Marco celebrates: "It was impossible to have a strategy with the tyre change, in the end we pulled it off". Davies disappointed: "I took it too far and made a mistake"

SBK: Melandri: a crazy race, I'm so happy

Marco Melandri had probably dreamed of such a weekend as he awaited the start of the new season, and now that the dream has come true he's definitely going to enjoy it. Ninth on the grid didn't stop him from scoring a double win, something he'd not done for a long while, not since Jerez in 2014 in fact, just beating the current world champion across the line in today's hard-fought race.

Like the final scene in a movie, a bit like the whole weekend in fact. "It's been a crazy race. The tire change made it impossible to come up with a strategy, as many riders could be fast for 10 laps. It was a big fight, with many aggressive maneuvers. We still tried to look after the tyres after the pit-stop, and in the last five laps we found our rhythm.

The final stages turned into a thriller, Marco harnessing all his experience and speed to get the job done.

“Towards the end, it was difficult to pass Rea under braking so I decided to focus on the final sprint and catch the slipstream out of the last corner, in which we were particularly fast, and the plan worked. I'm super happy and can't wait to race at Buriram."

Meanwhile, Chaz Davies is far from happy. The Welshman completed the flag-to-flag perfectly and was leading the race when he returned to the track. But in trying to build something of a gap, #7 saw his hopes end up in the gravel. "Honestly, I felt great and I thought we had some margin in the first half of the race. Then, after we changed tyres, I still thought we could go for the win. I think it's the first time I've ever pushed so hard on a completely new tyre, as we never leave the pits and go from zero to 100 percent like that, so maybe we took it just a bit too far and made a mistake even though it was quite late in the corner when I lost the front."

Now it's time to look ahead, and Davies prepares to fight back in Thailand , keeping one eye firmly on the competition.

“This year there will be plenty of riders capable of fighting for the podium, like we've seen here, so it'll be interesting. We'll regroup and be ready to fight at Buriram."​​​​​​​

Translated by Heather Watson

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