But it is not all bad for the former MotoGP rider as his results place him firmly in the fourth overall in the current championship standings.
At the start of race one, Melandri improved from seventh to fifth. When Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli had to retire on lap six, he took fourth. Until lap eighteen, the Italian stayed close behind third placed Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, but the opportunity to overtake the Irishman did not arise. Then he was passed by Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea and slipped back to fifth, only to regain fourth after Rea crashed on lap nineteen.
In race two Melandri found himself in a battle for fourth with his team-mate, Chaz Davies. On the penultimate lap, the Welshman overtook Melandri to take fourth but on the final lap, positions between them changed again. The two BMW factory riders fought a close battle for fourth until the final corner, with Melandri having a slight advantage in the end.
The Italian did not come away from his home race weekend a very happy rider, as he found it difficult to cope with the handling of the bike and had to contend with coming away from Imola without a podium finish.
“On this track unfortunately our bike struggled. I don’t think that we had a chance to win, so this result is the best possible. Race one has been very hard. I struggled a lot to change direction by shortly opening the gas which I normally do and, unfortunately, I couldn’t do better,” said Melandri.
“While in the previous races I had issues with new tyres, here in Imola we struggled a lot with used tyres instead. The race was physically very demanding and at the end of the race I was really tired.
“In race two we tried to solve the issue with some changes to the front suspension but the situation did not improve. The bike remained nervous and when I tried to push harder the bike moved more and more. In the last part of the race Chaz passed me and it was very difficult to get the fourth place back.
“If he had not made a mistake he probably would have been in front in the end. The positive point is that as a result I have reduced the gap to the Aprilia riders.”
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