Finally we are back to the races, adrenaline, at the top and our riders ready with their brand new X-802R. The beginning is promising, pole position for Carlos Checa, Michel Fabrizio in third and fifth Marco Melandri. The terrible crash of Checa during the test seems forgotten, not the same for his fellow rider Ayrton Badovini forced into the pits for the broken leg remedied during practices.
The first race start, things seems to be good but suddenly, on lap 13, Carlos makes a mistake and hits Melandri. Both crashes, Carlos remains on the ground with Marco who tries to rescue him. The race continues and under the checkered flag, Fabrizio is third with a spectacular comeback after a bad start. Carlos meanwhile is taken to the hospital for medical checks and he will miss the second race.
In race 2, Melandri despite the pain to his injured shoulder gives battle for second place till the end. No way, he's third in front of a very strong, once again, Michel Fabrizio. We should also mention in race 1 the ninth and tenth places respectively going to Camier and Neukirchner while in race 2 again Camier is ninth, eleventh Neukirchner and Sandi fourteenth.
So the first GP of the year is finished. There were a lot of crashes during tests and races, with a lot of extra work for our helmets and technicians which operated very well. In the meantime Carlos has been discharged from the hospital and we are waiting for him to come back even stronger at the next GP of Aragon April 14.
The rider's declarations:
Marco Melandri NOLAN X-802R
Result Race 1: DNF
Result Race 2: 3rd
"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 donít 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."
Michel Fabrizio X-LITE X-802R
Result Race 1: 3rd
Result Race 2: 4th
"Let's go back to Italy with two important results. The whole team has worked very well and I would like 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 of the World 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 going to start strong. Should be another track for the Aprilia and we aim to be with the first, because this is a league that rewards constant results. I thank all our sponsors who have enabled us to achieve these results. "
Leon Camier X-LITE X-802R
Result Race 1: 9th
Result Race 2: 9th
"The first race was really difficult and the bike just didn't feel like anything we'd been working on over the weekend. We really struggled and we made the wrong tyre choice - by the end of the race the tyre was destroyed! This was very strange because all weekend we'd done race runs on the tyres and it hadn't shown wear like that. I'd put in good laps on used tyres in the test and during practice, so we were confident that it would work, but whatever the reason is, it didn't! I got a better start in race two and tried to make some places up early on, but as I tried to go round the outside coming into a corner there was a big crash in front of me and I got taken out and on to the grass - so that was really the end of the race for me! The rest of the time was just spent catching up and racing with some other guys. I had to try and do what I could and I could see Jules and Johnny Rea coming back to me really quickly so I kept pushing, but just couldn't get up to them. It's frustrating because I felt that in the second race we had the package to challenge the front pack."