Marco Melandri has set his sights on bridging the 53 point margin to Tom Sykes in the World Superbike Championship standings with a return to the top of the rostrum at the Moscow Raceway.

The Italian was a race winner on the series' inaugural visit to Russia last season, a victory that briefly took him all the way to the top of the standings as well.

With half of the season now almost complete, Melandri is confident he can be challenging for wins once again aboard the BMW, but he is anticipating close competition.

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"During the Dorna test in Imola we tried some new setting solutions which worked quite well. On a different track of course we have to restart working on the set up but we will not start completely from the scratch.

"The Superbike World Championship made its debut in Moscow last year. It was a very good debut and I also had lots of fun. The track is pretty flowing; you never brake or accelerate hard.

"You need to let the bike go as fast as possible into the corner. I don't expect any gifts but I'm confident that we'll have good races and that we could be among the protagonists."