He couldn’t get the double but Marco Melandri (Nolan X-802) tried really hard to achieve the expected outcome. In the Czech Republic Grand Prix, our flag-bearer repeated Aragon’s result by winning Race 1 and taking home a strong second place in Race 2. Two thrilling races with continuous overtaking manoeuvres between Biaggi and Marco kept us in suspense until the chequered flag. Championship leader Carlos Checa (X-lite X-802) unfortunately could only be a spectator of this duel, finishing third in both races. Even as he stuck to the two protagonists, he never managed to enter the battle due to his Ducati’s clear inferiority in accelerating on the long straights of Brno.
Impressive Ayrton Badovini (X-lite X-802), sixth in both races, is now firmly in the top ten.
“I wanted to win both races, and to do it at this circuit. It feels like we are racing sidecar together... he wins one time, I win the other. All kidding aside, it was a tough race because my bike kept lifting the front wheel under acceleration. Max had a better setup in Race 2 than Race 1, and I tried my best to pass him at the end, but it wasn't possible. In any case we are happy, and we couldn't feel any other way after a first and second place finish. We will definitely continue working on the power delivery; the engine makes enough power, now we need to adjust the electronics so we can make the most of it. I have to say, however, that from a technical point of view I am confident, because the Yamaha is just as capable as the Aprilia. Aside from Silverstone, which is a good track for Yamaha and for myself, we go to the Nurburgring and Magny Cours, which I don't know. I only raced at Imola in 1999, on a 125cc, and then at Portimao I was fresh from my shoulder surgery. The recent races have given me a lot of confidence though, and I think I can learn the new tracks quickly.”
“I’m really very happy with a double podium here. In Race 1 my start wasn’t so bad but it took a few laps to pass Eugene and once past him it took some time to reach Max and Marco ahead. Once there I tried to keep the pace and stick with them. It was hard to find the right place to pass, I got by Max at one point but he came straight back past me. It was a great battle and to be honest I am happy with third because this has always been a tough track for me. Considering the situation, the track, our rivals, we are quite satisfied. We worked well all weekend, found a good set-up, chose the right tyre and really did our best. Max and Marco were really very strong today, it’s a shame I couldn’t quite be there with them but we’re happy nevertheless. We still have a lead in the championship and it is important that we are competitive and consistently fast. Silverstone will be another difficult one for us but then come other tracks where we are at less of a disadvantage so we’ll see. I’m taking it one race at a time.”
Carlos Checa still leads the overall standings with 277 points, while Melandri is third with 220 and Badovini eighth with 96.
Next race at Silverstone on July 30.