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Melandri: I can’t believe it!

Marco Melandri admits he still has to pinch himself to believe that he is sitting sixth in the 2009 MotoGP World Championship standings after nine of 17 rounds.

Of the present MotoGP grid, the Kawasaki ZX-RR is the only bike not to have won a race since the switch to four-strokes in 2002 - and the Italian's 2009 Hayate ride isn't even officially backed, following Kawasaki's winter withdraw from MotoGP.

Nevertheless, Melandri arrives at this weekend's British Grand Prix with 70 points under his belt, compared with 51 for the whole of last season as a factory Ducati rider, and is ahead of his replacement Nicky Hayden as well as factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso.

“Before the championship began, if someone had said to me that at the halfway point of the year I would be sixth and ahead of one HRC guy and one factory Ducati guy, I would not have believed it,” confessed the Italian.

“For sure I cannot finish [the season in sixth], but it is like a dream for me,” he continued. “With this bike, which we didn't even have to race, we are doing good races and having nice battles. I'm happy and looking forward to this weekend.”

Melandri, who finished second in the wet/dry French Grand Prix and briefly led his home Italian Grand Prix, is being linked with a return to Honda Gresini for 2010.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri and Toseland, British MotoGP 2009
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Pedrosa, Zarco, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Baz, French MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Iannone, French MotoGP 2017
Folger, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 2017

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ZXRR2009 - Unregistered

July 24, 2009 7:50 AM

The 2009 ZXRR bike is the best GP-bike Kawasaki has EVER build, nothing like the 2008. It's not underdeveloped, but just no development during the season. In fact it is completely redesigned and not one bit is the same as 08! I know this because I have contacts with people at the Hayate team and a previous rider :blush: Development during the seaoson rarely is helping anyway. This bike is surely well build! Next to that Marco is doing an absolute awesome job. 6th in the championship is great for now, but I expect him to do much more great battles on the Hayate-bike. All of this is a great achievement as the extremely motivated team has little resources but still does a FANTASTIC job!

Kostis 33 - Unregistered

July 24, 2009 11:49 AM

You are incredible Marco.Just believe that you can!! finish at sixth place and you will be there.You are absolutely magnificent in Kawasaki.I hope you will be healthy and you are going to do more impressive races!!I look forward to see you racing in Honda Gresini next year.Keep going, you are the best.

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