Ducati’s Marco Melandri blames a lack of pace in Sunday’s World Superbike race at Magny-Cours on missing the morning warm-up session to a technical issue.
While conditions on Sunday were mainly dry, the heavy rainfall on Saturday had washed away the rubber laid on the track on Friday.
With a bike issue forcing him to sit out the 15-minutes warm-up session, Melandri – who was second in Saturday’s wet encounter – went into race two with no set-up time.
From the off, the Italian struggled for confidence on his Panigale, while also battling a lack of traction.
Melandri‘s pace improved the closing stages, and he was able to get the upper hand on Ioda Aprilia’s Leandro Mercado. However, this came too late in the race for a podium challenge and he had to settle for fifth.
“Yeah, it was a very difficult race, especially for me because I lost to warm-up to a technical problem,” explained Melandri.
“Today, the (dry) conditions were much different than Friday, so it was important to ride this morning.
“We had to change the bike just before the race and the feeling was not there. Also, was pretty difficult conditions because sometimes it was raining a bit.
“I didn’t have a lot of confidence and I was missing traction coming out of the slow corners.
“I had a bad start and everything was bad for me, so I just have to keep calm and keep my rhythm.
“The last few laps were not so bad, the laptime, but the race was gone already. Fifth is better than nothing, but will be better in Jerez.”
Melandri had hoped the light sprinkling of rain that appeared briefly developed into a heavier downpour in order to potentially pull himself up the order.
However, the spots of water only served to make his afternoon more difficult, as a combination of his light weight and his riding style saw him lose tyre temperature.
“Also, I’ve been struggling a lot because my tyre went cold because maybe I’m lighter, or my riding style is different than the other guys.
“I felt the tyre cool, so for a few laps the grip was so difficult for me but was not enough rain to change the tyres, so we keep going.
“Actually, I was hoping to get more rain during the race to try to mix the cards on the table, but was better like that I think.”