The Italian is back on the podium at Sepang as Elias battles to sixth SECOND PLACE FEELS LIKE A WIN FOR MELANDRI Marco Melandri produced yet another heroic performance to add to his collection this season, this time at Sepang, putting his ...
The Italian is back on the podium at Sepang as Elias battles to sixth
SECOND PLACE FEELS LIKE A WIN FOR MELANDRI
Marco Melandri produced yet another heroic performance to add to his collection this season, this time at Sepang, putting his Gresini Honda back on the podium after taking second place in extremely demanding conditions.
Melandri fought the heat and humidity from the first lap to stay with the lead group, forcing his way up to second place after passing Randy De Puniet and Dani Pedrosa. Marco, empowered by a strong bike-tyre combination this weekend, even gave chase to race leader and World Champion Casey Stoner but his charge was foiled by a mid-race mistake. Nevertheless, a superb podium finish has propelled Marco to fourth in the riders' championship on 174 points.
MARCO MELANDRI (2nd in the race, 4th in the championship): "This podium feels like a victory to us. I was never on the podium here at Sepang and I don't think it is a circuit that suits my riding style or our bike. Anyway, today proved that when you have a great package of bike and tyres, as I did today, you can be fast anywhere. After a good warm-up this morning I was confident for the race. I was nervous before the start because I tried to move a little bit the valve for the drink but I made a mistake and pulled it out! The water was continually coming out so I tried to disconnect the tube but for the first two laps every time I was braking the water that still was in the tube was coming out inside the visor so it was difficult and I was a bit nervous. But after that I took my rhythm and I was pretty fast. I caught Dani, I tried to catch Casey but I had a big moment with the front end and I lost almost one second in one lap. After I tried to catch him back and i pushed a lot. Then, at 2 laps to go, when it was not possible to catch him, I thought it was really very good for me to be second so I just want to say thanks to Fausto and my team for these 3 years we have raced together".
TONI ELIAS (6th in the race, 12th in the championship): "I'm happy with this result. Everything was working well in the warm-up and we expected a good race. In the afternoon, when temperatures increased, we struggled a litle bit more. I had some good battles out there as I came through the pack. Once the tyres went off, I just focused on hanging on for a top result. Compared to Phillip Island, we've made a big step forward here and I'm now looking forward to the last race at Valencia, in Spain, in front of my fans."