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MotoGP Assen: Melandri optimistic with new Aprilia swingarm

Marco Melandri says he is heading to Assen with 'concrete optimism' after testing a new swingarm on his Aprilia at Catalunya
Marco Melandri says he is approaching Assen with 'concrete optimism' with his Aprilia team amid speculation he will leave MotoGP after a miserable start to the season.

The multiple MotoGP race winner explains his new found positive outlook has come from the mid-season tests at Catalunya two weeks ago, where he tried out a new swingarm for his Aprilia RS-GP machine. Despite the limited running due to stormy conditions, Melandri felt the upgrades made a significant improvement and is ready to push on in the Netherlands this weekend.

“We are going to Assen with a bit of concrete optimism,” Melandri said. “In the Barcelona tests the team provided me with a much longer swingarm that gave me a better feeling. I only took two laps [with new swingarm] because then it began to rain but I noticed that the sensation was good.”

There had been rumours Melandri may have contested his final race for the factory Aprilia team in MotoGP after Catalunya and has been off the pace and at the back of the pack all season, but the Italian squad has confirmed the 32-year-old will race at Assen.

The Dutch circuit holds fond memories for Melandri who has claimed rostrum finishes in MotoGP as well as victories in the 250cc and 125cc classes at the historic tack. The Italian's maiden win in a World Championship class – his 125cc victory in 1998 – also came at Assen and he is hopeful for a positive result this weekend.

“I like this track and I'm confident that we'll be taking some steps forward,” he added. “Alvaro's result [in Barcelona] gave the team a strong signal of reliability. I see the glass as half full.”

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June 23, 2015 10:54 AM

Folks - Going way off at a tanget here, but not sure how to create a specific forum, if we can. Did anyone else receive an email from BT the other day advising of price changes?? if i understood it correctly, they are basically putting the price up to £20 per month. So if like me and you watch several different motorsport events, we now pay, minimum, £26 for Sky, £10/£20 for Sky F1, and now £20 for BT sport unless you take their broadband and you get it cheaper, plus the obligatory TV licence of £13 a month. Now I don't pay for F1, because it just isn't worth watching for free much less paid, however, BT have had MotoGP for one and a bit seasons - within six months they increased the charge, and now thay have almost doubled it. The bikes are literally the only thing I watch on BT - so does anyone else think this is becoming an utter rip off - and can we actually do much about it. - start a debate on it??

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