MotoGP »

Melandri: It was a nice race.

Just three rounds in and Marco Melandri's gamble to ride for Hayate, with the aim of rebuilding his battered reputation, is already paying off after the Italian matched the factory Kawasaki team's best result of last season - and his best finish as a factory Ducati rider.

Fifth place at Jerez wasn't an upset of Brawn GP standards, the ex-Honda F1 team whose winter rebirth mirrored Hayate's creation after Kawasaki's official MotoGP withdraw, but it was further proof that Kawasaki - like Honda - jumped ship at exactly the wrong time.

It also proved that Melandri hasn't forgotten the skills that took him to second in the 2005 MotoGP World Championship, on a satellite Honda.

But while Honda might be kicking itself for pulling out of F1 - whilst, like Kawasaki, it continues to fund much of the replacement project - at least it knows that Brawn's success is partially down to a new Mercedes-Benz engine.

Kawasaki has no such 'relief', since Hayate is running exactly the same 2009 ZX-RR (on control Bridgestone tyres) that Melandri had already signed to ride, alongside John Hopkins, as an official Kawasaki Racing Team rider.

Whatever the financial and political reasons behind the withdraw, Melandri - who endured a confidence-shattering season alongside Casey Stoner in 2008 - looks relaxed, confident and increasingly fast on the all-black machine, which he has taken to 14th, sixth and fifth place finishes for 23 points and eighth (out of 18 riders) in the early championship standings.

This time last year, Melandri sat 13th with just 12 points to his credit.

“It's been such a nice race for us,” Melandri told the official MotoGP website. “We were not as good during practice, but we were working hard for the race, we changed the bike set-up a bit and the feeling was pretty good. It was very tough for everyone because the grip on the side was not so good.

“It was nice fighting with Colin [Edwards] and Loris [Capirossi], clean overtaking and a lot of fun. We tried to catch de Puniet but he didn't make a mistake.”

Melandri has so far been able to overcome the limited technical development of his machine through set-up improvements and increased understanding, having only taken part in two pre-season tests.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, Edwards, Spanish MotoGP Race 2009
VD Mark, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith crash, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Smith, Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sam Lowes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Sam Lowes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Redding, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Pirro, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016
Petrucci, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP tests.November 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


*15 - Unregistered

May 04, 2009 11:09 AM

"The last 2 races showed us that Melandri skills is above average" Everyone knows Melandri's skills are way above average, people just forget what he is capable of thanks to the unridable Ducati. Melandri has won many races in the premier class, and personally I believe he is one of the best riders on the grid. Give him a Yamaha and i think he could start getting regular podiums again.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.