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Rejuvenated Melandri ready for Le Mans

Rejuvenated Melandri ready for Le Mans

After a testing start to 2008, Marco Melandri believes he is edging closer to the light at the end of the tunnel after taking fifth place in China.

Fifth place in Shanghai came as a welcome change for Marco Melandri, his best result since a difficult switch to the Ducati Marlboro team at the end of last year. Of all the tracks on the 2008 calendar, Le Mans undoubtedly features high up on the list of those at which the former World Championship runner-up would be favoured to build on such an upturn in fortunes.

Melandri finished second last year in a flag-to-flag race in France, after a win in 2006. In addition, he counts a further three podiums to his name from the lower cylinder categories and an affinity for the historic Bugatti venue. Although previous results have little bearing when confronted with a completely different machine with which to make a mark, the Italian is relishing a return to Le Mans.

`Le Mans is a track with a lot of heavy braking and it cannot be underestimated because it is quite technical, with slow turns followed by some really fast ones. Even so I think I can do well there because I won in 2006 with the 990cc bike and last year I made the podium with the 800cc,´ explains the rejuvenated 25 year-old.

`Personally I have always liked the track so hopefully I can get another good result. We have shown that we're able to come through a difficult situation and we've made real progress so I just can't wait to get back on track now. I feel optimistic and I hope we can confirm our progress on a very different kind of circuit to Shanghai.´

MotoGP, 2008, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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