After dominating most of the practice and qualifying practices during the weekend, Michel Fabrizio wasn’t able to transform his performances into a win, but he did obtain a third place podium in race 1 and a fourth place in race 2 which put him into third place in the provisional standings with 29 points behind the two Aprilia factory riders.
Michel Fabrizio: “We’re returning to Italy with two important results.
The whole team worked very well and I would have liked to reward their efforts with a second podium after the one obtained in the first race.
Unfortunately I did not succeed, but the result of this first round is undoubtedly positive.
Now we want to continue like this, because I think we have a chance.
The next race will be at Aragon, where I tried the RSV4 for the first time and was fast.
It should be another good track for the Aprilia and we aim to be with the front runners because this is a championship that rewards constant results.
I want to thank all our sponsors who enabled us to achieve these results.
” Marco Melandri headed into the first round of the World Superbike championship as one of the favourites, but the BMW-backed Italian was extremely unlucky.
In the first race he was wiped out from behind by Carlos Checa during lap 13, after the Spaniard outbraked himself entering Turn 4.
After being in doubt whether he would be able to take part in the second race after his shoulder went out, he returned to the grid and battled for a third place podium and garnering 16 precious points, riding against his shoulder pain and chattering from his BMW.
However Melandri said he wasn’t worried just for himself, but also for Checa when he saw the Spaniard lying completely still on the side of the track, as he rushed over to him and found the Ducati rider with his eyes wide open, unable to answer but breathing.
Melandri was quite upset on how the track personnel put Checa onto the stretcher which he defined like ‘a piece of plastic’ and that he shouldn’t have never been moved in that manner.
Melandri said that he further damaged the ligaments in his right shoulder in the incident and that he’ll be undergoing surgery on Wednesday and that he’ll be miss the private test that BMW organized for mid March.
“In race one I was working my way towards the front and had improved to third place, when I was hit from behind by Carlos and unfortunately I fell on my right shoulder.
I don’t know why it happened, maybe he made a mistake or he had a technical issue, I just went down suddenly.
I am sorry for Carlos, he is a professional rider and I wish him a speedy recovery.
In race two, I fought within the leading group from the very beginning, despite the pain in my shoulder.
In the closing laps I had Michel really close behind me trying to overtake me, but I succeeded in defending my position and battled for my place on the podium.
In this type of situation, it is like winning for me.
Regarding my shoulder, I have surgery planned on Wednesday, following a medical examination on Monday to define which kind of surgery I have,” commented Melandri.