The following is from Miller Motorsports Park...
Miller Motorsports Park will again host the USA Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship on The BigM Weekend, May 26-28. As was the case last year, we will visit with race winners and other notable riders participating in the championship after each race during the 2012 season leading up to The BigM Weekend and bring you a new chapter in the "Five Questions with" series.
The subject of our fourth installment of the season is 29-year-old Italian Marco Melandri, who rides the No. 33 BMW S1000 RR for BMW Motorrad Motorsport. Melandri, who came to World Superbike last year with Yamaha, having spent the past seven seasons in MotoGP. Prior to moving up to MotoGP, he won the 250cc World Championship for Aprilia in 2002. He won four races and one pole with Yamaha, but made the move to BMW this year to take the seat vacated by the retiring Troy Corser. He made history at England's Donington Park circuit on May 13, taking the German marque's first series victory, and heads into this weekend's BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park with significant momentum.
What adjustments have you made to the BMW to tailor it to your liking? (David Swarts, Roadracing World)
We just followed a good program from the first test, just step by step without trying to fix everything at one time.
That last lap in Race 2 at Donington Park. Can you take us through that from your perspective? (Dean Adams, Superbike Planet)
I was third at the finish line, I had just passed [Jonathan] Rea, and in my mind I was going for the win. I knew I had to pass Max [Biaggi] in the downhill, and so I did. In the final two hairpins I was a bit too far from Leon [Haslam], but I was too scared of a possible attack from the back like some riders did in the middle of the race, so I preferred to pass Leon and go wide like I did. Again I did the same in the last corner for the same reason, but unfortunately it was not safe enough.
How difficult is it to race the V4s with a high revving inline four, specifically at MMP? (Henny Ray Abrams, Cycle News)
It's not only difficult to race against the V4s this year, as we have seen there have been six different winners on five different bikes so far, and I think that trend will continue throughout the year.
The Yamaha and BMW are both powered by inline fours, but the character of the engines is very different. Has the transition from the YZF-R1 to the S1000RR been difficult for you? (Matthew Miles, Cycle World)
For sure it was not easy, but we had different issues to sort out in the beginning. I think that the firing order makes a bigger difference than the question of inline versus V4.
The BMWs seem to be catching up quite well to the Aprilia in terms of top speed. How will they do in the high altitude at Miller Motorsports Park, and what are your feelings about the circuit? (Miller Motorsports Park)
I think only at Monza the top speed makes a significant difference in the lap time. At the other tracks it's more important to have a good power delivery because you open the throttle from zero 18 or 20 times, and you stay full throttle maybe three seconds per lap.
The May 28-30 BigM Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park will include the USA Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, plus support races from AMA Pro Road Racing including the National Guard American SuperBike Championship, the GoPro Daytona SportBike Championship, the Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport Championship and the Vance & Hines XR1200 Championship, as well as the second annual DRIFT BigM Superbike Super Celebrity Mega Kart Showdown. There will also be live music throughout the weekend and a major tribute to our armed forces in recognition of Memorial Day.
To obtain tickets for or information about The BigM Weekend, or for information regarding Miller Motorsports Park, call 435-277-RACE (7223) or visit the track's website at www.MillerMotorsportsPark.com.