Outstanding First Race Success for Melandri Donington World Superbike

Press Release

2011 Donington World Superbike

Spectacular First Race Victory for Marco Melandri Yamaha World Superbike rider Marco Melandri provided an extraordinary performance today in Donington Park delivering his first race victory and second podium of the 2011 season.

Melandri got straight down to business in race one, working his way through the pack to secure a well-deserved first win of his WSBK career.

With a less than perfect third row and ninth position start off the grid, he skillfully closed in on his adversaries, taking him into second position by lap 17. He overtook Jakob Smrz to take the lead with just two laps to go to the chequered flag. Melandri proved to be just as determined and consistent in race two, moving up to third just five laps into the race and proceeding to battle his way through for second on the podium.

Fellow Teammate Eugene Laverty was less fortunate in race one however and suffered a significant crash on turn eight of the fourth lap. Laverty was able to jump back on his bike in race two and complete the race in the points.

Marco Melandri heads to round three of the 2011 WSBK Championship in Assen second on the overall standings with 72 points, just 19 points behind Carlos Checa. Teammate Laverty holds 16 points and is in 12th position. Yamaha are currently second in the Manufacturers standings with a total of 74 points.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team – 1st, 2nd
“I had a great win in race one. I was just behind a very aggressive bunch of riders so I had to work hard to keep my rhythm and push through. I managed to close in on Smrz with five laps to go and take my first win. Race two was a little more difficult. I was suffering from a head cold and lost concentration a little mid way. I am very pleased to be on the podium again. We have been working very hard in preparation for today’s races and we did very well, I had a lot of fun and I think we proved that we have a very good package. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Thanks to Yamaha, my team and my sponsors.”

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team – DNF, 14th
“Not a good day today. The race one crash was bizarre; I don’t really know what happened. I almost crashed in the corner before and lost a little bit of confidence afterwards. Race two started well but I had to push really hard. We still haven’t found the right settings for me; we need to fine tune to suit my riding style. I know I’ve got potential, so do the bike and the team, we just need to work hard to combine it all. “

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli
“This was a fantastic result for Marco, he provided a very impressive first race. He proved yet again to be a very talented rider, overtaking the pack from so far back and winning. I’ve always been sure that we have a competitive package and today Marco confirmed this. He had to push very hard in race two and had difficulty closing in on Checa. We need to improve on qualifying results in order to get a better position on the grid and avoid the handicap of starting so far back. We decided to keep exactly the same set up and tyre choice between the two races, the decision clearly paid off.

I’m extremely sorry for Eugene. He suffered quite a bad crash in race one but thankfully was not hurt. He had difficulty delivering the results we’d hoped for in race two, I believe he has a lot of potential and can be much faster. We need to work hard with him in order demonstrate what he’s made of. Overall it was very difficult to race in such extreme weather conditions as in race one. I’m looking forward to Assen where I strongly believe we can show how competitive the bike is and have both our riders in the top where they they should be.”

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