Published on 22 Jul 2012 by Toni M.
Marco Melandri not only scored the first double victory for BMW at Brno, but he also shortened his points gap from Max Biaggi to 21 points in the riders championship, he also given the German manufacturer the lead in the manufacturers standings following today’s ninth round of the series.
Check out what the riders had to say after the double header:
Marco Melandri (1st and 1st)
“I am living my dream today. Securing my first double victory here in Brno on this racetrack is something special. I am so happy because I already have five victories this season and nobody did expect it. Race one was already amazing. At the beginning the conditions were very difficult as it was wet. As we were riding with slicks, we just tried not to lose too many positions, but in the first few laps I struggled a lot. While I tried to improve my position I made two mistakes because I still was not feeling comfortable. When I saw that I was eighth I said to myself that I need to stay quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It was not easy to overtake them. And when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew that I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. I knew that I was faster than the others. Race two was even more difficult as Tom was doing a great race, and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him. The tyre was working very well today, and I could keep the gap very small. Every time I tried to pass Tom he was braking so hard that it was nearly impossible. Once I finally passed him, I made a mistake and Tom passed me back. It was really tough to catch him again. Actually I did not expect to win, but being on the victory rostrum twice today is just amazing. Seeing BMW leading the manufacturers’ championship is unbelievable and it makes me proud. I also could close the gap to Max in the rider’s championship. But the season is still long, and we think race by race. I want to thank everybody at BMW Motorrad and in the race team who work so hard every day and put so much effort in the project. It was so unbelievable and emotional to see them smiling and happy. Now I just want to celebrate this result.”
Tom Sykes (2nd and 2nd)
“We started very strong in race two and the lap time was good, then the tyre dropped a little bit in performance but the very small adjustment we made after race one meant that the tyre felt very consistent. I made my own race out in front alone and I think I am quite good at managing it and it seemed to work. We started to go a little bit faster towards the end but I felt a little bit of attack from Melandri. Finally the lap time got affected but it was great to battle with a rider like this. We know he is strong on the brakes but with help from Kawasaki and my crew chief Marcel I had a bit of an answer today. I was not quite as easily dealt with as in previous races. Hopefully we can carry this forward. Having the Ninja ZX-10 working so well at the end of the race is such a good breath of fresh air. It has proved a few people wrong. In race one I felt the hit when Jonathan Rea and I collided. Jonathan went for a gap that unfortunately was not there. I tried to stay with Marco in race one and when I attacked the corner the front was not allowing me to attack so I ran a bit wide to square the corner off and when I did I just saw a bit of Jonathan in my side view, at which point it was too late.”
Loris Baz (3rd and 8th)
“I can’t believe I am here on the podium in race one. I could not dream of being on the podium when I started in Superbike just a few races ago. I started well and just tried to stay there with the other riders. We have been working very well in Kawasaki, all the mechanics and so on, and we never go in the wrong way. Because I am tall we had to make some changes to the geometry of the bike since I started riding it, but it really feels like I have been riding this bike for a year or more. I still think I am dreaming right now to be on the podium. In race two I got a good start again but it took a bit of time to overtake two riders in front of me. I had a really good feeling with the bike again. I could not make a step to pass some other riders but I am really happy. It is out best race in the full dry conditions and we were only 13 seconds from the front so it was really close.”
Carlos Checa (4th and 3rd)“
We knew it would be hard at this track so I think we can be happy with third and fourth place finishes today. Despite the difficulties on the grid and at the start of race 1, I was able to stick with those ahead of me and maintain a good pace. I admit I had my doubts on the grid because there is no way of knowing whether conditions will change during the race but we made the right tyre choice. Having said that it was hard – I had trouble catching and then passing those in front. So, all things considered, and bearing in mind that Rea crashed in front of me on the last lap, final fourth position wasn’t so bad. Then, in race 2, I started to lose grip in the final stages. There was no way I could keep up with Tom and Marco but I’m pleased that I was able to stay close and take third place. The team has worked really well together and it’s also thanks to the harmony in the garage that I was able to take these results today.”
Eugene Laverty (5th and 5th)
“I’m not happy with these two fifth place finishes because we could have done much better. Unfortunately in Race 1 we chose the wrong tyre, and then in Race 2 we ran into grip problems that we had only had in the second qualifiers and Superpole 1. It’s a shame because we deserved more today. We’re taking home some important points, but definitely not as many as we had hoped for”.
Max Biaggi (6th and 4th)
“Unfortunately we couldn’t do any better than we did today. We had some big problems with chattering which compromised every move I made. In Race 2 I tried not to lose touch with the front pack, but I just couldn’t maintain their pace. I was already at the limit as if it were the last lap. We still haven’t figured out what the problem is, since both the bike and the set-up are very similar to what we were using at Aragon. I just hope that we don’t have the same problem in the rounds to come”.
Leon Haslam (7th and 7th)
“At the beginning of race one the conditions were tricky although it was the same for everyone, but we had some major issues. I really struggled with grip, especially compared to Marco when I followed him. Then from about five laps in we struggled with chatter. I managed to change my style towards the end of the race to get seventh position back from Michel Fabrizio but it was quite difficult. In the second race, the bike was feeling good. When me and Marco were battling I went on the grass. I lost a lot of places. However, I was happy with the bike and we should have beaten Eugene Laverty, but on the last lap I got a false neutral and I lost two places. The main thing is that overall I felt a lot better in this race. And now we are looking forward to Silverstone, a track that is always good for me.”
Michel Fabrizio (8th and 10th)
“Today didn’t go as expected. I didn’t get a good start in race one, but as the race went on my pace was very good and I was able to make up some positions and finish eighth. I got off from the grid well in race two, but unfortunately after some laps I suffered a lack of grip and so I couldn’t match the lap times from practice and qualifying.”
Leon Camier (14th and 9th)
“Conditions were very tricky at the start of the first race and the track was pretty wet. Because we all knew it would dry out, we all chose slicks, but that made the opening laps a bit difficult. After my experience in Assen, I was a bit nervous in the wet and wasn’t confident enough to push too hard. I know that I need to improve my confidence in these kinds of conditions. I made a bad start in race two and then started making up places before too long. It was a case of just bashing my way through and once I managed to get past Rea and Smrz, I set about trying to catch Fabrizio. Once I got past him, I went after the group ahead, but ran out of laps before I could improve my position. In the second race my FIXI Crescent Suzuki felt good and so did I. It was very encouraging to be able to run with the fast guys and if I had made a better start I’m sure I would’ve been challenging for a top four or five position.”
John Hopkins (15th and 14th)
“The conditions in the first race were definitely not easy. I started from the inside of the track which was the wettest part and so had to be careful at the beginning. Even so, the bike still span up a few times. I got caught in a group towards the back of the field and managed to hit the wrong button on my traction control and turned it off by mistake. I then put in some decent laps, but by then it was too late. The track was much better for race two. I got a good start, pushed hard and kept my head down. I was battling with Smrz and Rea and trying everything I knew to get past them, but I began to struggle with edge grip. As the race wore on, my tyre was gone, so I settled for a finish and some points. The results today were not what I wanted or expected, but were better than some before.”
Davide Giugliano (DNF and 11th)
“What a pity about race 1. It was my mistake because on the grid we were deciding which tyre to use and I didn’t want to go out on slicks. It was the wrong decision and after a couple of laps it was impossible to ride and I crashed. It’s a shame because I felt really fast and though I don’t know whether I could have fought for the win, I could surely have been a podium contender. In the second race I had grip issues right from lap two onwards. It became increasingly difficult to manage the situation and I lost a lot of ground. I thank my team for all their hard work this weekend because, even if we didn’t take the results that we wanted, we know that was have the pace and are competitive. Let’s see what we can do now in the upcoming races.”
Jonathan Rea (DNF and 12th)
It’s been a really frustrating weekend because this is one of my favourite circuits and the feeling was not like in previous years – it felt completely different. We worked hard all weekend and got quite close in race one. The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead. Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position. In race two I felt something wrong with the bike from the very start. I just had no grip from the rear, but we’ll have to look at the data to confirm that it was just the tyre. I suffered a massive loss of grip on the edge, under acceleration, and tried a lot of different styles to see if anything worked, but it was all I could do to hang on to 12th place. The results are not what I want to go racing for and I’m really disappointed about the weekend. The last few races I’ve felt like I’m on a race winning package but this weekend was definitely below average.
Hiroshi Aoyama (DNF and DNF)
Not such a nice Sunday. In the first race, another rider crashed into me so I crashed, too, and that was not so good. In the second race the conditions were better so we wanted to try some things on the bike to get a better position, but after the fourth lap the bike stopped in turn one, so finally we could not do anything. It was not really a happy end to the weekend, but we had more of a positive feeling yesterday so I hope that this is a good direction for us to follow. Now I go to race at the Suzuka 8-hour but when I come back at Silverstone I hope we can be stronger again.
Ayrton Badovini (DNS and DNF)
“It was not an easy weekend, even though it started in a perfect way. After the Superpole crash the tables were turned and today it was tough for my fitness. A question of pure bad luck didn’t let me take part in race one. I hoped I could do better in race two, but after six or seven laps my vision blurred and I was forced to retire. The goal now is to get back to full fitness and to be competitive at Silverstone. I would like to thank my team, who have been formidable in building up the bike almost from scratch, Vincenzo Tota and the Clinica Mobile for getting me in the right physical condition to try and race, and the riders who helped me on track immediately after the accident and the ones who came to ask me how I was”.