Marco Melandri has reiterated that he is only testing MV Agusta's latest F4 Superbike to assist the manufacturer in development, rather than approach it as a passage back to World Superbike racing in 2016.
Earlier this week, the Italian manufacturer announced it will enter into a new partnership with Forward Racing for 2016, with the erstwhile MotoGP outfit coming on board to prepare its World Superbike and World Supersport racing efforts from next year.
It was also announced that Melandri – a 19-time race winner in the World Superbike Championship – will be charged with developing its F4 RC machine, raising speculation that he could be in line to make a racing return to the series next year.
However, having been out of racing action for four months after his split from the Aprilia MotoGP project, Melandri insists he is not rushing to return just yet, playing down the likelihood that he will conduct anything more than a few tests on the MV Agusta.
“Right now, the idea is just to do a test,” he told the official WSBK website. “First I have to see if I still enjoy it, understanding where the bike is at and seeing whether I am able to do it.
“I don't even know how I got the opportunity. Last week I visited the MV Agusta headquarters and had a fantastic meeting with Giovanni Castiglioni (MV Agusta President). He is a very balanced and humble person with very realistic goals. This led me to agree to do the bike tests. In fact, I haven't been on a bike for four months; I've not been off a bike for that long since I started racing and it won't be easy getting back on.”
“I've always liked developing a bike and I think this is the right time. I will be able to make an important contribution, which I've never really been able to do in quite this way in the past.”
After an unhappy 2015 campaign with Aprilia in MotoGP – which ended just eight races into the season -, Melandri insists he is now waiting for the right opportunity to present itself before he moves on.
“I do miss racing and going for it. So now I am looking for a clear situation and a specific task. I certainly wouldn't want to return to have a seat at all costs, I have no intention to do that. It's been a tough year and I think this break has done me good, to allow myself a full 360.
“I think I can be even faster and, in fact, for me the last part of the 2014 season was one of the most successful I have had. I am now waiting to find the right opportunity.”