After a stunning four-wheel circuit racing debut, in the Losail round of the Speedcar championship, MotoGP star Marco Melandri will return to the cockpit for another shot at victory in this weekend's Dubai round (February 27-28).
Melandri shocked the Speedcar field by staying in the lead for almost the entire second race at Qatar on February 14 - his lead peaking at a massive 7.5 seconds - before being sidelined by a broken gearbox just four laps from the finish, handing victory to former F1 racer Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Meanwhile, the Italian's 2009 MotoGP plans remain in doubt after Kawasaki's factory withdraw and no confirmation that the ZX-RRs will remain on the grid with a privateer team.
As a consequence, Melandri has already missed the first MotoGP test of 2009, at Sepang, and the second test of the year is due to start at Qatar on March 1 - the day after Melandri's appearance in the Dubai Speedcar round.
Speedcar is a one-make NASCAR-style competition featuring identical 620bhp machines. With three rounds gone, former F1 drivers Gianni Morbidelli, Johnny Herbert and Liuzzi lead the title fight.
Unlike Losail, which Melandri has raced at in MotoGP, the Dubai Autodrome will be a new circuit for the former 250cc world champion.