Melandri expected more progress from Aprilia

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Marco Melandri's difficult pre-season comes to a close tomorrow in Qatar with the Italian making his return to MotoGP aboard the Aprilia. Melandri, who was the form rider over the second half of 2014 in World Superbikes, has struggled to readapt to MotoGP throughout the winter and the lack of progress made by Aprilia has left him somewhat bewildered.

"It's very difficult," said Melandri. "For sure I was expecting that the bike would have progressed more from November but we're struggling a lot and I can't expect a big change in the next few months. The bike doesn't give good feedback, grip and it struggles to go into the turn. We are missing a lot of grip on the rear. It's not the tyres, we've tried different tyres and it felt the same. "

The Italian, vice champion in 2005, has not been able to get comfortable on the bike and has requested numerous changes to the machine but so far Aprilia has been unable to make sufficient progress in developing the bike. This has meant that throughout recent tests both Melandri and Alvaro Bautista have rejected riding the 2015 bike and have instead been testing with a hybrid machine.

"We'll use the 2014 bike because the 2015 bike has been put aside. I don't think that Alvaro will use it either. We have to wait for Aprilia to make developments but I've made many requests. For sure the chassis is the biggest area that we need to improve but also we need to improve the electronics. I've made many requests but I don't know if they were able to bring any here."

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Steve English

By Steve English