Marco Melandri admits he is 'pretty disappointed' that his impressive results this season have not led to further support from Kawasaki.

Melandri is riding for the newly named Hayate Racing Team, which is a rebranded single-rider version of the former Kawasaki Racing Team.

Despite having signed Melandri and John Hopkins, Kawasaki ended its factory MotoGP involvement at the end of last season, but agreed to run the Italian after being 'reminded' of its contractual obligations to take part in the championship.

Melandri is thus steering a brand new 2009 ZX-RR, with maintenance and running costs also covered by Kawasaki, but crucially - despite already matching Kawasaki's best result of last season, fifth place, in only his third race on the bike last time out at Jerez - Melandri is not expecting any new parts.

That means the Italian will need to rely solely on set-up improvements as he seeks to keep pace with the developments of rival manufacturers and achieve his goal of closing the gap to the podium finishers.

"I'm pretty disappointed because we are getting better results than Kawasaki, but we are a private team right now so we will not get any improvements," said the 2005 MotoGP World Championship runner-up.

"But we are lucky that there are not many tests after the races [for rival teams to test new parts] this year. We can just work to improve set-up. Our goal now is to reduce the gap between us and the podium. I know it'll be hard to be fifth and sixth every Sunday."

After an 'awful' season at Ducati in 2008, Melandri looked much more comfortable on the ZX-RR right from his very first test session at the end of last year.

The late Hayate deal meant the #33 could only attend two pre-season tests on the '09 bike, but he scored two points at the Qatar season opener, followed by sixth and fifth places at Motegi and Jerez.

"It's a good time for me," he smiled. "The last race at Jerez was wonderful. I didn't expect to get a result as good as at Motegi, but I got a good start and the bike was working good. I'm pretty happy and just want to do my best every day.

"2008 was awful. Now I don't have any big expectations because we didn't even have to be here this year. The feeling with the bike is good, it'll be tough to improve more but I feel confident in myself and the team. I just do 100 per cent every day."

Melandri's fourth race for Hayate will be at this weekend's French Grand Prix at Le Mans, an event Melandri won in 2006 as a Honda Gresini rider.

"I like the track. It's fun and I think it'll be not-so-bad for our bike," he said. "The weather looks changeable though so we'll have to use every second to try and get the bike set-up for the race."

Melandri starts this weekend's grand prix eighth in the championship.

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