Marco Melandri says feel and confidence are his main concerns, rather than lap times, ahead of his BMW World Superbike race debut at Phillip Island this weekend.

The Italian, title runner-up in his debut WSBK season for Yamaha, was sixth fastest at the end of official Phillip Island testing earlier this week.

The gap between the former MotoGP star and pace setter Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) was less than 0.6sec, but Melandri still sounds less than optimistic heading into the race weekend.

"At the moment, we haven't yet started thinking about what we can expect at the race weekend, as we are concentrating on what we need to do to improve my feel for the bike," he said.

"Generally speaking I like the Phillip Island circuit. I won there in 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP, and also claimed a podium finish there in the Superbike World Championship last year, so it has been a good track for me.

"I hope I will get the confidence that is lacking at the moment and take that next step forward," Melandri added.

Team-mate Leon Haslam is hoping to ride despite requiring lower leg surgery after a big fall during testing.

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