Marco Melandri says he is working hard on finding a good feel aboard Aprilia's new MotoGP machine as he prepares for his return to the series after four years in World Superbikes.

The Italian joins Aprilia in making the return to MotoGP in 2015, a move that will also see him revive his relationship with Gresini Racing having previously competed with the team on a Honda between 2005 and 2007, as well as in 2010.

Having turned his first laps on the new bike in Valencia, Melandri - along with team-mate Alvaro Bautista - got three further days on the bike in Jerez, including a day sampling the new pneumatic valve V4 engine.

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However, while the Italian was positive about the potential of the new, more powerful engine, he admits he is still feeling 'self-conscious' on the bike, while Aprilia manager Romano Albesiano revealed Melanndri is taking time adapting to the Bridgestone tyres.

"These were three interesting and very demanding days at the same time," he said. "Lap after lap I am figuring out more and more where I need to improve and what I need in order to feel at ease. I still feel quite self-conscious. I think we'll need to put in a few kilometres to find the right feeling.

"The new engine had a few growing pains, which is normal in this phase, but we have already seen what its positive sides are and where we will need to concentrate on improving it.

"We have a long period of down time ahead of use which we'll use for development so that we're ready for the Sepang tests. All the guys are working hard and the whole team is very enthusiastic. This is an atmosphere that gives me high hopes"

Melandri recorded a fastest lap time of 1min 41.5secs - just over a second slower than Bautista and 1.6secs slower than the pace setting Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso.


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shakennstirred: has been and never will be again
he will regret coming back to motoGP.
he was better off staying in wsbk where he was a front runner[\blockquote]
I Totally agree look at the BAD return on the Honda He's not Rossi .He's already talking himself down .what were they thinking Bautista has had a funk year Melandri was on an up and down rollercoaster . And now he's already bad mouthing his attitude .the photo should say What the f--ck did I do to myself ?