TOOELE, Utah – After taking a historic first win at Donington Park last time out, the BMW Motorrad Motorsport Team is preparing for the sixth round of the season, at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA, with heightened expectations and an enhanced degree of confidence.
Marco Melandri was the rider who delivered the historic first S1000RR win at this level and as he was followed home at close quarters by his team-mate Leon Haslam it was a case for double celebration for the German manufacturer. The fact that a last corner double collision deprived both Haslam and Melandri of a chance to go for another 1-2 in the second Donington race has also focused attention on making sure that each rider scores strong points in each race from now on.
For Melandri and Haslam, Miller is a challenging venue for a top BMW rider to go to next, as Melandri explains. “It is quite fast and smooth but not easy,” stated Marco. “Normally the track should suit my riding style well. At the moment, I don’t want to expect anything special. I just want to take it one day at a time. This season has shown that the championship is very open and different riders can get to the top and win at every race. I just want to get 100 per cent out of my RR and myself, and then we will see how we are doing compared to our rivals. The victory at Donington certainly gives us some extra confidence. Getting the first win on this bike was difficult because, although we tried not to think about it, we knew it would be the first victory for BMW Motorrad. This put extra pressure on us. Now we have got that monkey off our backs and are more relaxed and confident. This was the first win, but I am sure that there are more to come.”
Leon certainly hopes to have a better time on the S1000RR than he endured last year at Miller. “Every weekend now we have been challenging for podiums and have been really close to the win, so we want to do the same in the USA,” said Haslam. “Last year, it was one of our worst race weekends and I am interested to see how the RR works this year with all the improvements we have made. One problem last year was that the conditions were changing so frequently, so it was not easy to find a fast set-up. We have been watching the forecast for this weekend. The weather looks like being good with temperatures possibly reaching as high as 30 degrees. So hopefully we are going to have some sun. The circuit at Miller Motorsports Park is a mixture of many different things. For whatever reason, Carlos Checa’s way of riding seems to suit this track. But I have finished second there before, so we know we can be strong.”
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