Gresini Honda rider Marco Melandri is looking to take a further step forward at Le Mans after breaking into the top ten last time out at Jerez.

After a dismal performance at the Qatar opener, a series of updates between races were successful in making Melandri immediately competitive in Spain, the Italian going on to finish in eighth position.

Speaking at the Cibus trade show in Parma, Italy, where the San Carlo-backed team was on display, Melandri is hoping to carry this momentum to the next round in France.

"I had fun and it was nice to see that I still have so many fans, as well as taking the opportunity to pay back our sponsors in a small way," said Melandri. "I want to take another step forward at Le Mans as a way of thanking all these people for their encouragement and support."

His words were echoed by team-mate Marco Simoncelli, who recovered from a lowly starting position to put in a feisty run to 11th at Jerez.

"That was as hard as a Grand Prix weekend! I signed endless autographs and got a lot of good wishes for the rest of the season. It seems a lot of people enjoyed my last race and I promised them I?d ride even harder at Le Mans."