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Melandri enduring tough season

As Marco Melandri weighs up an offer to switch to World Superbike next season with BMW, the Italian admits he's struggling in MotoGP at the moment.

The Italian, runner up in the 2005 MotoGP World Championships, holds tenth in this year's standings after eleven of the 18 rounds, with a best race finish of fifth.

Melandri is only the third best satellite Honda rider and his situation can be summed up by noting that he had scored 18 points more at this stage last season - riding the 'abandoned' Kawasaki ZX-RR for Hayate - than he has managed this year, on his return to the Honda Gresini team with which he took his five MotoGP wins.

"I am disappointed with the way the season is going - I'm struggling and can't find a way to improve my feeling with the bike and adapt it to my style of riding," said Melandri. "Hopefully the fact [Misano, this weekend] is a home race for us can help."

Although instantly comfortable on the 2009 (Showa) RCV he tested at Valencia late last year, Melandri has struggled to connect with the 2010 (Ohlins) version and even switched back to the Japanese suspension.

HRC has handed its satellite riders new parts as the season has gone on, most latterly electronics, but Melandri is yet to unlock the potential.

During last weekend's Indianapolis round, Melandri described his difficulties as follows:

"Unfortunately the bike isn't responding properly to the throttle," he said. "The connection isn't there and the traction control feels strange and unpredictable.

"I am having so much trouble with the engine management system and I still can't find the rear grip I need to accelerate out of the corners. I can't ride as I would like and I can't generate any corner speed.

"It seems like my strongest weapon has now completely deserted me. I am so slow in the middle of the corner and I'm not comfortable on the bike. I'm really disappointed because I was expecting a very different season to this."

Team manager Fausto Gresini insists he hasn't lost faith in Melandri.

"We are trying to help him because we believe in him and we want to see him riding to the best of his ability again," said the former racer. "Misano could be a big help in this."

Tagged as: Honda , BMW , Marco Melandri

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Who Cares - Unregistered

September 02, 2010 3:49 PM

aeolus, Simoncelli has a factory RCV (split front air intake) while Melandri has a sat spec RCV, like Randy de Puniet and Aoyama. Furthermore, SImoncelli sticks to the Ohlins suspensions while Melandri switched back to Showa. All in all, I doubt comparisons are relevant. For me it's all done and dusted: Dovizioso and Simoncelli at Gresini with factory RCVs, and Melandri at BMW with Corser in WSB in 2011, and possibly back in Moto1 in 2012 with the German factory.

USgpfan - Unregistered

September 02, 2010 4:20 PM

Melandri, turn off the traction control and ride the rails off that thing, like you did before the 800cc bikes - girly bikes, never liked them.... too bad he wont be on the 1000+cc bikes to show once again his potential.

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