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Melandri reflects on first contact with Yamaha M1

Melandri reflects on first contact with Yamaha M1

Melandri reflects on first contact with Yamaha M1

250cc World Champion Marco Melandri steps up to the MotoGP class this season, teaming up with Carlos Checa at Fortuna Yamaha. The young Italian´s first objective will be to adapt to the awesome power of the four-stroke Yamaha YZR-M1, a process he began at the end of last year in private tests at Valencia and Jerez, and he has spoken for the first time about the project.

´ The first lap with the M1 was really strange - I could not believe a bike could go so fast,´ he reflected. `And the thing that I noticed most was the power. It felt hard to control at first but after a few laps it got easier and easier. I thought the engine braking would be stronger on the four-stroke but in fact it feels more similar to the 250. The biggest difference between the two is in the power delivery. With the four-stroke, the straight does not seem long enough! The M1 feels very light and more manoeuvrable than the 250. I would say that I felt a greater general difference when I changed from a 125cc bike to a 250cc, than I have done from the 250cc to the four-stroke MotoGP bike´.

Aside from the demands of his new machine, Melandri will also have to adapt to a new team, after spending three years with Aprilia: ´ I am really happy because the team is great, everyone wants to help me as much as they can. No-one has compared me to Biaggi so far! They have told me that I should keep my head down, learn as much as I can and enjoy myself. I am very lucky to have Fiorenzo Fanali as my crew chief, he has worked with so many great riders in the past including heroes of mine like Agostini and Lawson. I am trying to improve my English and I now need to speak it to the Japanese Yamaha engineers, even though most of my crew are Italian.´.

´I am also very happy to work with Carlos - I think he is a really good guy. I can learn a lot from him, and sometimes I can see from his times and lap data where I should be improving. ´

MotoGP, 2002, Marco Melandri

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