Marco Melandri made vital progress in improving his pace on new tyres at Phillip Island today to lap just 0.030sec slower than fastest man Jonathan Rea.
The new Ducati recruit has been a revelation throughout winter testing as he’s shown he’s still got the pace to run at the front in WSB after almost two years away from any form of racing.
However, pace on new rubber was something the former MotoGP runner-up had been determined to work on ahead of this weekend’s opening round in Phillip Island and progress on the final day of testing sees him happy ahead of the Australian event getting underway on Friday.
“After a difficult first day because of bad weather, we got off a solid start today,” Melandri said. “In the afternoon the hotter conditions reduced the overall grip but the team has done a great job. We tried new settings, which proved to work very well for me. The thing I’m happiest about is that we managed to finally maximize the grip on new tyres, which had been somewhat a weak spot for us throughout the winter. It’s only a test, but it’s always important to feel good on the bike so I’m hopeful ahead of the racing weekend, which I’ll take step by step.”
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