A good second place for Melandri in race 1 and fifth in race 2 in a difficult weekend for all our riders. Marco started from the 6th position and had to fight in both races to recover from a bad start. In race two, a mistake during the last lap, meant he missed out on another podium. Checa was 12th in race 1, and after suffering with severe pain in his shoulder, he decided not to participate in the second race. Badovini received an 11th in race one and had a crash in race 2. A good start for Canepa racing as a Wild Card for Ducati 13° e 8°. Fabrizio came 10th in both races, and while Camier crashed in both races he managed to get back in race two for a 13th position.
In the championship Melandri is fourth with 46 point gap from the leader.
Next race in Portimao on June 6th.
We take the opportunity to pinpoint also the Nolangroup support to young talents in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, a championship for teenagers from all over the world, where four riders wear helmets signed by our brands. Karel Hanika, X-lite, 17 years old, leading the championship with 28 points of difference from the second, and the others, Bastianini (Nolan), Pagliani (X-lite) and Manzi (X-lite), are respectively: fifth, seventh and eighth.
Marco Melandri, Nolan X-802R
"It was a weekend of mixed emotions. Race one was really nice, but not easy. I had quite a good start, then I began pushing to gain positions. It was difficult to overtake Johnny and Sylvain and it took time. Then, when I had claimed second position, Tom was too far away and I didn’t have enough time to reach him, but I was happy with second place. In race two, my start was not as good but step by step I got closer to the front group. But when I was directly behind Laverty, I started to have some difficulties riding. On the final lap, I tried to overtake him in the chicane, but when entering the corner I could not brake properly so I went wide to avoid a crash. It was a pity as I had hoped to get more points. Now we have to continue working. This week we will go testing and try some new solutions."
Carlos Checa, X-lite X-802R
"Seeing how the first race went, and the pain that I had in my shoulder both during and after the race, we decided that it was best not to force things by participating in the second. To tell the truth I thought things might be worse today, at what is one of the most physical tracks but, having said that, I need more time to recuperate and get my strength back as I’m suffering particularly in the changes of direction and when entering left-hand turns, where it’s important to have both arms at 100%. Of course it’s not an injury that affects me in my day to day life but at 300km/h it really hurts. Now we have two weeks, in which I’ll continue with the various treatments in preparation for Portimao where I hope to be stronger. From the next round I’d like to be able to focus more on the sporting side of things and less on health issues."
Ayrton Badovini, X-lite X-802R
"In the first race I lost too much ground in the opening laps and after that there was no way to reach those ahead of me. I felt we made a good step between race 1 and race 2 – in the second I had similar pace to the group ahead of me but unfortunately I lost the front entering turn 2. I didn’t hurt myself but it was a pity because I wasn't doing badly. Now I want to continue with our work to better understand what works and what works less well, in order to make less mistakes during the weekend and to be faster in the next races."
Niccolò Canepa, Nolan X-802R
"Considering that these were my first races I’d say that we are coming out of this weekend with a fairly positive outlook. We’ve worked well and if we’d had more time on track on Friday then I think we could have done better. We’re not far off I don’t think, with a bit more time to set the bike up for me and my riding style we could probably have done more. I’m just sorry for the mistake in race 1 but these things can happen in racing. I’d like to thank Francis Batta, Ernesto Marinelli and the team for giving me this opportunity and thanks also to Ducati’s development team who’ve worked so hard for me this weekend."
MIchel Fabrizio, X-lite X-802R
?"In both races today we've focused mainly on fixing our front because we've lost the Assen feeling we liked so much.
We've managed to solve our problem and now we start again. Paradoxically we worked so much on the front that we were about to lose grip on the rear.
Now we just have to find the right balance. We can back on top already in Portimao".
Leon Camier, X-lite X-802R
"I had a bad start and was a bit too aggressive in the first race, even though I felt ok on the bike. I was trying to get past Canepa, but in the slower corners I was struggling a bit to get the bike pulled-up. I knew this, but I was desperate to get past him because I could see the front group going away, so it was my mistake and I ran off. Then I was pushing really hard to come back through the field and crashed. I was frustrated in race two because I felt like I didn't have the best grip and the BMWs got past me, so I pushed hard but got caught out at Goddards. The front went from underneath me, I don't really know why it happened, but I couldn't do much about it. I picked the bike up and tried my hardest to come back, but the main pack was too far away to catch them. I will now have to put this behind me and try and do my best at Portimao in a couple of week's time."