Slap! And that’s what happened when Max Biaggi stopped by Marco Melandri’s pit box after qualifying, after the two riders traded moments stuffing each other during the Superpole sessions. While out on his fastest lap in Superpole 2, Marco Melandri came onto the slower lapping Max Biaggi, and according to Melandri, Biaggi blocked his fellow Italians fast lap.
Subsequently, Melandri returned the favor on Biaggi’s fast lap attempt, while Biaggi would go on to do the same to Noriyuki Haga (and others reportedly) as well. After Superpole concluded however, it was Melandri that got The Emperor’s wroth in the paddock, as the reigning World Superbike Champion stopped by the Yamaha pit, and gave Melandri a couple of light slaps on the face during a worded exchange. Video after the jump.
For their heated “discussion” both Melandri and Biaggi have been given a verbal warning from the WSBK race direction, with Biaggi also getting slapped (pardon the pun) with a €3,000 fine for his part with the unsportsmanlike conduct. This episode in the life tales of the Drama Llama of course overshadows Carlos Checa’s performance in the Superole qualifying event, as the Spanish rider is continuing to dominate the WSBK field on his “non-factory” Ducati.