Any doubts that ex-MotoGP rider Marco Melandri would flounder at World Superbike level have been dispelled by his convincing run to the podium on his debut at Phillip Island.

Though he is a race winner at the sport's highest level, some inconsistent testing results and question marks over the condition of his shoulder made predicting Melandri's results from the 2011 season opener difficult.

However, he gave the impression of a seasoned WSBK performer in both races as he diced closely with the front runners, most notably in race two when he exchanged several neat passes on Max Biaggi.

Ending his debut weekend with a run to third position in race two - having earlier finished fifth in race one -, the Yamaha man was nonetheless refusing to get carried away by his strong early form.

"I'm pretty happy with the end results of today, although I wasn't too happy about race one. We've been struggling all week with a rear grip issue, which could be seen in race one.

"I think we made a good job before race two, changing our set up to deal with it and we were a little bit more aware of our potential afterwards. The bike was a lot better and I felt a lot more comfortable.

"It's nice to be back on the podium! I wanted to challenge Biaggi for second but in the end my body was slower than my mind at the end of the race, it felt a bit dangerous to make some passes so I was happy to settle for third."



Loading Comments...