In the first ever Grand Prix of Russia, on the brand new circuit in Moscow, a great Marco Melandri did not miss the chance to shine and produced two magnificent races taking a second place in Race 1 and a win in Race 2. Two results that grant Marco the lead in the world standings with just three races remaining. Carlos Checa was more unfortunate and after a good testing session and the pole position, fell in Race 1 due to contact with Rea and produced a fourth place in Race 2 due to the crash of his opponents in front of him that forced him to slow down. An excellent 5th place in Race 1 for Fabrizio and eighth for Badovini in race 2.
The general standings now see Marco in the lead and Carlos in fourth place. Next race at the Nurburgring on September 9.
The GP unfortunately took place without Casey Stoner who returned to Australia to have his leg, which he injured at Indianapolis, operated on. The race turned into a battle at the front between Lorenzo and Pedrosa with Pedorsa taking the win with a final overtaking move on the last lap. It was unlucky for Lorenzo who finished in second place after putting in an excellent performance taking pole position on the Saturday.
The general standings see Lorenzo still in the lead while Stoner is third. Next race on Sept. 16 at Misano.
Here the rider's declarations.
MARCO MELANDRI Nolan X-802
"It is an unbelievable day. To win here at the first ever round of the Championship in this country is something special and I am just very, very happy. This morning it was cloudy and raining a little bit, so it was not easy. Race one was very tough in the beginning with the slick tyres in the wet. And the fact that a wasp stung my leg made it even more difficult. It was a very tough race and to finish second was like a win for me. For race two the team made a small modification to the bike and I felt very good from the first lap. Once I saw Biaggi was out I understood I had the chance to try to get a win and I did. I was worried a little bit about my rear tyre, but it worked perfectly with my BMW. The team once more did a great job, thanks to everyone. We are now leading the Rider’s Championship but we think from race to race. We have no time to think about defending our lead, because six races are a lot and still everything can happen. We have to stay focused and work hard. And if I have the chance to fight for a win I will try to get it. For me it is important to have fun at every race and I cannot race without trying to do my best. Overall I am so happy. We had some bad luck in the past, but now we are working very good. But you never know what happens in the last races. I also want to thank the Clinica Mobile, they helped me a lot, not only with the sting but also with the back problem I had all weekend."
CARLOS CHECA X-lite X-802
"We did what we could and that’s how it went. In the first race we chose slick tyres – it would have been impossible to finish the race on rain tyres. It was a pity for the crash – I was fighting with Johnny for the position, he came too close to me, didn’t leave me room and I lost the front when he touched the handlebar. We had to build the bike from the rolling chassis for race 2 as there were some problems with my bike after the crash. I had similar sensations to yesterday but had real difficulty on the straight – it was extremely difficult to pass, or even get close enough to attempt to do that."
JORGE LORENZO X-lite X-802
"I really enjoyed that race, mainly in the last laps, Dani and I tried everything for the win. We are so close in the Championship that every point is important. It was a very strategic race, in some parts of it I was slowing down to relax a bit and get some air and I think Dani was a little later on as well, staying calm and preparing for the last laps. When Dani was pushing a lot I took a lot of risks to stay with him and finally I had to try to pass him, the victory was so close I had to try. This time Dani was cleverer than me and braver so congratulations to him, next time maybe it will be different! A big thank you to my team as well who worked really hard and made a very competitive bike for me."