Marco Melandri will take in another entirely new circuit when the World Superbike Championship visits Magny-Cours for the penultimate round of the 2011 season, though the Italian nonetheless goes there with high hopes.
The Yamaha rider, who could all but guarantee himself the runners-up spot in the standings this weekend, did not – unlike his team-mate Eugene Laverty – make his debut with the team at the post-season test in France last year.
As such, Magny-Cours will be a new experience for him, though with his predecessor Cal Crutchlow taking a win and a second place finish last season, he thinks he can challenge for wins.
"Magny Cours is another new track for me. I didn't have the chance to test there last year at the end of the season like quite a few other riders did, so I'm not sure what to expect. I haven't seen much of the circuit on TV or on the internet, but I'm looking forward to discovering it.
“Going by last year's results, where Cal took a race win and a second place on the podium, it looks like it could be a good track for the R1. My ambition is to be at the front, pushing for a podium and even a race win or two."