Having sensationally dominated much of race two at the previous Qatar round of the Speedcar Series, before being sidelined by a gearbox failure, MotoGP star Marco Melandri found things much tougher during his return to the cockpit at Dubai on Friday and Saturday.

This time racing on an unknown circuit, Melandri - who had qualified ninth - held eighth early on in Friday's first race, before a spin dropped him down to 13th. The Italian recovered to finish tenth, 50.412sec behind race winner Jean Alesi.

Saturday's second race saw further misfortune, with Melandri delayed by a huge first-corner slide on his way to eighth position, this time 35.281sec behind double-winner Alesi.

Marco will now head straight for Qatar, where he is due to make his debut on the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-RR during Sunday's opening night of MotoGP testing.

Although already announced as the lone rider for Kawasaki's new 'unofficial' entry, Melandri has said he will make a final decision after assessing the competitiveness of the machine.

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