Marco Melandri says he still needs a little more experience on the Aprilia RSV4 in order to get the most from his new bike as he endured a race day of mixed fortunes at Phillip Island.

Making his much hyped debut for the Italian firm in Australia this weekend, Melandri qualified well in third place and had the satisfaction of beating new team-mate Sylvain Guintoli to second place in race one, even if he wasn't able to resist the man he replaced at Aprilia, Eugene Laverty.

In race two, however, Melandri would be caught out under braking for the Honda hairpin, an off that would plummet him down the order and limit his fight back to eighth place.

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With this in mind, Melandri admits he needs more time to understand how the bike reacts, but was otherwise satisfied with his results.

"Race one went well," he said. "I got off to a good start and then I was able to ride smoothly in the first few laps to conserve my tyres for the end. Unfortunately after the halfway point the bike was sliding around a lot. I wasn't able to be incisive so when Eugene took the lead I preferred holding onto second place.

"In race two I wanted to use the same tactics again but to overtake Rea I braked harder than usual and the rear wheel came up so I was forced to run on. I'm disappointed because I threw away some important points.

"I'm sure I still need more experience adjusting to the way the bike reacts and adapting the settings to my riding style. The track conditions also brought out some problems that I had never had before. Now I need to get a handle on the situation so that I'm ready for the next race."