Marco Melandri says he is eyeing up good results from the off as he prepares for his return to WorldSBK in Jerez just months after supposedly hanging up his helmet for good.

The Italian had brought a long and successful racing career to an end at the conclusion of the 2019 WorldSBK season but had a change of heart when a seat became available at the Barni Racing team, where he replaces Leon Camier.

It means Melandri will finally get hold of the Ducati Panigale V4 R, the machine he hoped to ride in 2019 with the factory Ducati squad only to be dropped in favour of Alvaro Bautista.

Ironically, the long hiatus between the opening round in February and this weekend’s second event in Jerez means he’s barely lost any race time to his rivals. A podium winner on the otherwise inconsistent GRT Yamaha last year, Melandri has high hopes of hitting the ground running.

“I can't wait to get on the bike on Friday morning because the first contact with the Ducati Panigale V4 R was really fun and interesting. I'm curious to see my level among the other riders, to see if my feelings have been correct and to see which area I need to work on more.

“The most important thing will be to get back into the race pace, being back on the grid and seeing the lights going off again will be fantastic. I am ready to give all the best of myself on the bike, looking for good results