World Superbike contender Marco Melandri believes he punched above his weight on the factory BMW this year.
Melandri finished third overall but was right in the title hunt until a crash at Portimao in Portugal ruled him out of both races and blew the championship race open.
He won more races than other rider, taking six victories compared to eventual champion Max Biaggi’s five wins on the Aprilia.
However, Melandri concedes that he may have over performed this year and agreed that when the S1000RR was in its comfort zone, the bike ‘makes it look easy’.
The Italian star, who again spearheads BMW’s official factory effort in 2013 in the new-look Goldbet team, told the official World Superbike website: “I think our bike is a very good bike but the window to make it work and give you good confidence is very small.
“When you are inside this window you can be fast and it looks easy.
“When something is not perfect and you go out of this window you fight with the bike sometimes,” he added.
“I think this is the main place where we have to work, to make the bike easier.
“We knew this before the season, we know now. The first year was to try to understand what we have to do more on the bike.
“So for the first year, for sure we did more than was expected last season.”
On his prospects next year, Melandri says a successful path to the world crown can only be achieved with the complete overall ‘package’.
“I think everything is a package. Rider, team, bike, factory – all together,” he said.
“For sure the rider may be on top and he must try to stimulate and push the team and give the right information.
“Then the team has to push the factory and the factory has to understand the information an what to do with the bike. I think it is always teamwork.
“Alone, the rider or team or factory cannot do this.”
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