23. July 2012
After two perfect races, Marco Melandri stood at the top of the podium both times, bringing the BMW team a historic new success: two victories in a single round!
In the land of beautiful girls and cheap beer, motorcycle virtuoso Marco Melandri showed that this combination of Italian temperament and German precision is faster from race to race. Marco didn’t perform all that well in the qualifier because he only managed to get a fifth-place starting position in the second row, and then in the first race, which took place on wet asphalt, he fell all the way back to eighth. But he constantly increased his performance, working his way up to first place. The second race was tougher because Marco was constantly breathing down the neck of the exceptionally fast Tom Sykes (Kawasaki). The two of them traded the lead position several times in the last quarter of the race up until the final lap, when Melandri took the lead and held the position to the end. Sykes rode past the checkered flag barely 0.14 seconds behind him!
“I’m living my dream today,” said Marco—whose BMW S 1000 RR is equipped with an Akrapovič exhaust system—happily after the second race. “Securing my first double victory here in Brno on this racetrack is something special for me. I’m so happy because I already have five victories this season and nobody expected that. Race one was already amazing. 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. When I saw I was eighth I said to myself I needed to be quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It wasn’t easy to overtake them, but when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. Race two was even more difficult, as Tom was having a great race and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him. 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 didn’t expect to win, but doing that here twice today is just amazing. Seeing BMW leading the manufacturers’ championship is unbelievable and it makes me proud. But the season’s still long, and we plan 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 into the project. It was so unbelievable and emotional to see them smiling and happy. Now I just want to celebrate this result.”
The lead in the overall superbike class standings is still held by Max Biaggi, who took sixth and fourth places in Brno on an Aprilia RSV4. But, six races before the end, Melandri’s now only 21 slim points behind him and has taken BMW to the lead in the manufacturer standings.
Marco, hats off to you!
Photo: BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Matevž Hribar