BMW team-mates work on set-up down under

“I still need to get more confidence in the front of the bike” – Marco Melandri.
BMW Motorrad WSBK riders Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri concluded the first of the two Phillip Island tests, prior to next weekend's season opener, third and tenth on the timesheets.

Haslam is believed to have used a qualifying tyre to post his best lap time, 0.4sec from Ducati's reigning champion Carlos Checa, but nonetheless has confidence in his set-up.

“We have come here with the base set-up of our new bike from Valencia, and it worked pretty much straight away,” said the Englishman. “Over the three days we had time to figure out the base set-up of the new bike, and to find the settings for this specific track.

“Of course it is important to go fast around here, but it is also about exploring a little bit so you can make big steps in both directions to be able to understand what the bike is doing. I think we learned quite a lot.

“Also we had time to work on electronic strategies and we improved them a fair bit. The lap times were pretty good, we improved the consistency and were just trying a set-up in both cooler and hot conditions, which is quite important around here.”

But Melandri, preparing for his BMW race debut, is further away from finding an effective set-up for his S1000RR.

“We have worked hard in many directions on this test. The first day was pretty successful and we had a good base to work with. But unfortunately we were struggling to make more steps forward,” said the Italian.

“We still have some issues with the front of the bike, which we tried to solve by making some changes. I still need to get more confidence in the front of the bike. When it was hot, it became more difficult for me. But anyway - we need to be fast in every condition.

“Unfortunately we also lost three hours on the last day, when I crashed and we had to rebuild the bike. But now we have the time to analyse the information we collected and try to improve the bike at the next test. We still have two more days of testing before we go into the first race weekend, and I hope we are going to have good weather then.”

The last pre-season test takes place at Philip Island on Monday and Tuesday.

Tagged as: BMW , Phillip Island , Valencia

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