Marco Melandri says he didn't go into his first World Superbike meeting with his sights set on a podium finish having maintained a fairly low-profile build up to his category debut.
The ex-MotoGP rider made his first WSBK appearance at Phillip Island, though question marks over fitness – following surgery to his shoulder just two months earlier – and his adaptation to the two-race format kept commentators guessing as to how he would fare.
Nonetheless, Melandri put in a fine showing in Australia, enjoying a particularly close battle with former MotoGP adversary Max Biaggi, to score a third and fifth place finish.
With this in mind, Melandri is confident there is more to come from both himself and the Yamaha package.
“I didn't expect to come back from Australia with a third place in the table and a podium, because we hadn't done much testing with the new bike and also because I knew that it was something new for me to have to face up to two races on the same day,” he said.
“After the first race, I knew I could improve for the second, and luckily that's the way it went. This gave me great satisfaction and considerable stimulus for the future."
Looking ahead to the upcoming races, Melandri is expecting to be amongst the front runners at Donington Park, a traditionally strong circuit for the Yamaha R1.
"Donington is a track that I like a lot and I think that the characteristics of our bike are ideal for this circuit, seeing as it's well-balanced and performs well in the curvy bits. I hope the weather is on our side so we can have a couple of races in the dry, the rest will speak for itself. In any case I'm feeling pretty confident."