SBK, Melandri: Buriram? I won't be shortchanged this time

The Italian recalls his 2017 duel with Sykes at the final corner, Davies: "A chance to close the gap and aim for the win"

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His double win at Phillip Island has given Marco Melandri the best possible start to the season. Now the Italian seeks confirmation in Thailand, at a track that really put him to the test last year. The layout includes long straights, not the best for the Panigale, and then there is the extreme heat to deal with too.

Melandri is convinced that things will be different this time, because his experience with the red bike can make the difference: "Buriram is undoubtedly a peculiar track, but I like it. Despite the fact that it doesn't have one of the most technical layouts, it's still a lot of fun to ride. Last year, our main rival was the heat as I struggled more than expected with 40 degrees, so I hope that the conditions are a bit more favorable this time.

During the previous edition, the Aruba rider was pipped to the post by Sykes: “In the 2017 races, Sykes passed me twice in the last corner, but now I feel much more determined and ready, so I can't wait to get back on track."

On the other side of the garage, Chaz Davies aims to fight back on Asian soil, keen to turn the page after the race 2 crash in Australia: “I feel good about going into round 2 in Thailand. Buriram is a good track to assess our level and see where we are with the 2018-spec in general, but also to pick up from where we left off at Phillip Island.

Chaz trusts in the potential of his Ducati: “I felt good on the bike in Australia, both physically and in terms of overall feeling. We want to confirm how competitive we can be. The heat in Buriram makes it a bit more difficult for everyone, but we got progressively closer to the win every year, so hopefully we can close the gap altogether this time. I'm really motivated and looking forward to the weekend."

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Translated by Heather Watson

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