Published on 22 Apr 2012 by Toni M.
Macho Melandri took fourth by a mere 0.002s in the battle with Pocket Rocket. The Italian is now fourth in standings alongside Sylvain Guintoli with 66 points, while Haslam is 7th with 58 points.
Marco Melandri (9th and 4th)
“It has been a very tough weekend. Today, the most important thing was to bring home points. Race one was pretty good for us when it was dry. I had a very good start and I was following Tom Sykes. I was waiting for the best moment to pass him, when he had a problem. After that, Leon was leading, but I passed him. Then I saw some drops of rain coming down and my hope was that they would stop the race, so I tried to stay at the front. But suddenly there was a turn where it was wet, I did not see the water and went down. Unfortunately our race was compromised by the wet conditions after the re-start. I did not have any grip, so it was difficult to be confident.
“For race two we had a good set-up and a good choice of tyres, but unfortunately we got some chatter again. From the first lap on it was very difficult to control the bike, so I could not push properly. The last lap was exciting. I tried to pass Eugene and suddenly both Eugene and Leon were in front of me, but I passed them back. It was big fun and Leon, Eugene and me showed respect for each other, which was very important. I am disappointed because I just missed the podium, but we are working hard and are in good shape.”
Leon Haslam (DNF and 5th):
“Race one was dry at the start. I made a small mistake when I was battling with Carlos Checa mid-race and dropped back to sixth, but I came back in the lead. I had a bit of a tyre issue in that race but it was red-flagged anyway due to the rain. At the re-start it was raining. I passed Johnny Rea quite easily, felt pretty confident – and then had a big crash. I did not realize that I was pushing so much. In hindsight I could have backed off, but even so I did not feel that I was pushing too hard. After race one I was very disappointed because I could have lost a second a lap and still won the race, but the positive thing is that we feel pretty confident in the rain.
“In race two, we opted for an intermediate front and a slick rear tyre. Three minutes before the start I knew that we needed a slick front, but they would not let us change the tyre because we were running out of time. After two or three laps, the front tyre was just pushing and bouncing and I did not have any corner speed. I was surprised that the riders did not pass me sooner. But for whatever reason I managed to hold the pace of Eugene and Marco – even with the intermediate tyre. And I thought I got Marco over the line, as it was really, really close. In hindsight I am happy because we nearly got on the podium with an intermediate front tyre.”