Marco Melandri has ended the Portimao winter test downbeat having struggled to find solutions with his braking and corner entry issues and feels the GRT Yamaha isn’t suiting his riding style.

The former world champion made his World Superbike debut with Yamaha back in 2011, ending the year runner-up to Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa, but ahead of his return to the Japanese manufacturer with the GRT squad he has struggled to replicate his former pace.

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Melandri, who has spent the following years competing for BMW, Aprilia (MotoGP and WorldSBK) and Ducati, has conceded he was unable to find sufficient breakthroughs in his GRT Yamaha setup or tweaks to his riding style to deliver the required gains he sought ahead of next month’s 2019 World Superbike opener at Phillip Island.

“This was a very difficult test for me,” Melandri said. “I came here expecting a little bit more, but it looks like we’re going around the real problem, unable to find a solution.

“For me it’s very difficult at the moment to brake how I want; the bike doesn’t respond well to my riding style under braking and on entry to the corner. We tried everything we could here in Portimao, but it looks like it's not enough.

“Now we need to try some different options in Phillip Island, go a different way with the setup, in order to find a solution ahead of the first race of the season.”

Melandri claimed a dominant double victory at the Australian circuit last year with Aruba.it Racing Ducati, while it has often been a track he’s favoured in the past with at least one podium at every World Superbike round he has contested at the circuit.

Melandri forms the new rider line-up alongside Sandro Cortese as GRT Yamaha steps up to the World Superbike championship for 2019.

 

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