Marco Melandri has said he never stopped believing in himself as he returned to the top step of the podium for the first time in three years at Misano yesterday.
It was an emotional win for the former MotoGP runner-up, his first for Ducati and in front of home fans in Italy.
The victory comes after a difficult few years for Melandri, who sat out of racing in 2016 after an ill-fated move to the Aprilia MotoGP squad a year previous.
“This win means so much to me,” he said after the race. “It’s my first with Ducati and first on Italian soil but also the 100th by an Italian rider in WorldSBK. It's the result of a lot of efforts, a composed attitude during some difficult moments, and great teamwork.
“We never stopped believing in ourselves, and this result is a payback for all the sacrifices. We made a small change to our setup this morning, and before the start I was sure I could have a go at it. During the race, I tried to manage my pace and, once I took the lead, to ride smoothly. I hope Chaz recovers soon, he had a nasty crash but fortunately without serious injuries. I hope to be able to fight for another win, this time with him on track as well, at Laguna Seca.”
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