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Valencia MotoGP Test: Melandri 'We know we are late…'

“We know we are late, that's for sure, but you never know” – Marco Melandri.
Marco Melandri admits he and his new Aprilia MotoGP team are behind schedule in their preparations for the 2015 season and that he needs more time on the bike before setting his targets for the year ahead.

Moving back to MotoGP from the factory Aprilia World Superbike project, where he finished fourth overall in 2014, the 32-year old put his new machine tentatively through its paces on Monday before posting 24 laps during Tuesday's wet session.

“It was ok,” said Melandri on Tuesday evening. “At the beginning for sure the riding style is much different, even in the wet. The tyre gives you much more support so it's easier in braking to make the turn. I was struggling a little bit with the rear but then I make some changes with the bike and the feeling was ok so I'm happy.

“I think the tyre makes a bigger difference than the chassis. The chassis is a little bit different but not too much at the moment. The tyre gives you a much different feeling. I feel the bike much more stable in drive in the wet so for it will take time to make progress.”

Melandri, who finished runner up in the MotoGP class in 2005, believes he needs more time on the bike before assessing his targets for 2015. With a test in Jerez scheduled for the end of November he feels he will have a better understanding then.

“I think it's too early now to say. We need to wait some days in the dry. We have some days [testing] in Jerez so then we will understand. We know we are late, that's for sure, but you never know.

“At the moment we modify the tank. We will get a new one, smaller. The chassis will be smaller and the engine is the one from Superbike. We can't make something smaller. The new engine will be, but we can't make this until 2015.”

Like new team-mate Alvaro Bautista, Melandri has yet to test Aprilia's pneumatic valve engine but was content with the current electronics package.

“I don't think the Superbike level is too bad. Next year we will have Aprilia software. I think we have some strategy working quite good. We have to make some improvements. We have some ideas and I'm very confident.”

When asked why the official Aprilia announcement of his deal had come so late he said, “[The MotoGP decision was made] together. We all discuss many different ways to go and it's a decision we take together.”

Tagged as: Aprilia , Marco Melandri

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November 12, 2014 12:23 PM

It will be interesting to see how MM fairs against the masses. If they get the bike and electronics sorted, maybe top 10-12 place possible. Lots of talent and new bikes for 2015!!! Should be an interesting year!

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