Marco Melandri is hoping to further increase the pressure on Kawasaki to supply new 'go faster' parts for his privately run ZX-RR, after his stunning second place finish last time out at Le Mans.
Melandri's runner-up result in only his fourth grand prix for the Hayate Racing Team - formed to run the Italian after Kawasaki's factory withdraw - equaled the best ever MotoGP result by a factory-run ZX-RR.
It also placed Melandri fifth in the riders' championship, and his 43 points are the highest achieved by any Kawasaki rider after the opening four races of the season. Those 43 points have also put Kawasaki ahead of Suzuki in the constructors' championship and are more than Kawasaki had scored after nine rounds last season.
But despite such success, it seems Kawasaki still has no plans to up its support for Melandri and Hayate, which at present is limited to supplying and maintaining machinery.
Melandri's only option for improving performance is through set-up changes, but he hopes to keep increasing the pressure on the Japanese manufacturer and is keeping his fingers crossed for next month's post-Catalan Grand Prix test.
“The good point for us is that everybody else cannot test a lot, so they don't go forward like in the past,” said Marco. “And we can still maybe improve the bike just by set-up, but I'd really like to push Kawasaki to get some new parts for the bike by getting some more good results.
“We have the one day test coming up after the next race in Barcelona. I don't really expect to get any new parts, but I hope they [Kawasaki] are going to think about something good after the podium at the last race,” he confirmed.
Melandri's Le Mans second means only he and Alex Barros have finished on the podium on four-stroke machines from three different manufacturers since the introduction of the MotoGP formula at the start of 2002.
Last year, while struggling on a factory Ducati, it took Melandri until round twelve to reach 41 points and he hadn't been on the MotoGP podium since 2007.
“It was only my dream to get a podium this year, but when I saw the weather conditions before the race I knew it would be very tricky and that I had to use the situation to do my best,” he said of Le Mans. “I changed bike very early and it was very dangerous and scary because I almost went down at the same corner as Valentino. I was just focused and maybe had a little luck.”
Looking forward to this weekend's home Mugello round, Melandri believes a top ten finish is a realistic goal in the dry.
“I did my first 125 race in the Italian championship here. It is beautiful circuit and one of the best in the world,” he said of the circuit. “I've never been on the podium here in MotoGP so I'm a little disappointed with that but I just want to do a good race and have some nice fights. I hope to be in the top ten... We still need to improve one second to catch the leading guys. Every night I dream about doing that!”