Marco Melandri is one of those riders who is a serial winner at Brno, as it suits his fast cornering smooth style. He has won more races there than any other WorldSBK venue – three.
He clicks with it, and sure enough, even after a near disastrous Donington Park round for Ducati last time out, he rode to the challenge on Saturday in the Czech Republic and finished second in race one, after being third in Superpole.
“In the beginning the front was more difficult because it was dropping down quickly and with a lot of fuel it was so difficult,” said Melandri, who was powerless to see Rea disappearing away in front of him.
“Then for some laps it was not so bad and the rear started to drop down. In the end it was difficult but I slowed down a bit because I knew I could not catch Johnny and my gap was good enough with Tom, so I tried to manage that. It was more difficult than I expected.”
Why Brno and Melandri make such happy dance partners was explained by Melandri after race one.
“I think for my riding style it is very smooth and I like to have corner speed,” said Melandri. “On a Ducati this is difficult and I think the best riding style for this bike is, for sure Chaz’. But on this track he cannot ride aggressive – you cannot ride aggressive, so he struggled a lot. I think this is the reason. For sure in some turns I struggled a lot too.”
Melandri big vee-twin is noticeable wobbling less now, after Ducati finally found the root of the weaving, at this very track, it appears.
“The problem is under control. Sorted completely no, but it is under control now. Acceptable. It was a stupid reason, a very stupid reason, but I cannot tell you. It was something completely different from what everybody said. Weight distribution, aerodynamics, it was not something like that.
It was something stupid – but I do not want to tell you. But it was not easy to find, actually. The big improvement was made at the test at Brno. We were here just for that problem.”
Melandri says he will also have some issues with the relatively soft construction Pirelli tyres, but that his low weight and small stature were not the reason he had problems with weaving before.
“We tried to put on eight or nine kilos on the bike to test, but it made no difference, the bike was still moving a lot,” said Melandri. “Then when we fixed the problem, we took out everything and it was OK. For sure a little bit for my size and my weight I am wobbling a little bit on the rear tyre sometimes, but it is acceptable. I always have with the Pirelli casing, some difficulty for my size. But it is not something that penalised me.”
Melandri’s second place was in marked contrast to Davies’ eighth place finish, 17 seconds from the winning Kawasaki.