New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Melandri confident of rebuilding career with Kawasaki move

Melandri confident of rebuilding career with Kawasaki move

Looking to regain his confidence and rediscover his form, moving from Ducati to Kawasaki in 2009, Marco Melandri is excited about the challenge of the coming months.

When 2002 250cc World Champion and 2005 MotoGP runner-up Marco Melandri arrived at Ducati at the beginning of this season his move generated huge interest, with fans hoping for big things from an Italian rider on an Italian bike which had just been ridden to World Championship glory.

A race-winner in all three Grand Prix categories Melandri´s talent has never been in doubt, but his 2008 campaign has really been one long struggle, the former Honda and Yamaha rider failing to click with the Desmosedici GP8.

With one race to go this weekend at Valencia before he begins a new chapter in his career with Kawasaki in next week´s first post-season test, caught up with the England-based rider to get his thoughts on what went wrong this year and how he aims to put things right in 2009.

Commenting on his frustrations this season, Melandri stated, `It has been very, very tough for me because the expectations were so high. From the beginning I had a difficult feeling with the bike and to modify the bike to my riding style was tough. Ducati were not able to modify the bike for me because Casey really liked it and every time I tried to push a little bit harder I had a stupid crash.´

`When you lose your confidence it is very hard,´ he continued. `I haven´t had fun or enjoyed riding the bike so it has been a long, long season.´

Asked whether mid-season technical improvements to the Desmosedici had made any difference to him, Melandri replied, `After Barcelona we got a new traction control system and the bike was a bit better, but for me it was even more difficult because Sete Gibernau started riding (testing) with my team and every race I didn´t know if I was going to race the next one. So the motivation for anybody in my situation wasn´t the best and I think like this it made it more difficult to ride the bike.´

Despite his 2008 problems Melandri retains a positive outlook and is fittingly enthusiastic about his opportunity to bounce back with Kawasaki. `It is going to be a very hard challenge, but it is nice because everyone thinks I made a wrong choice and I just want to follow my feeling and my instinct,´ he explained. `I think Kawasaki need a good rider to develop the bike and I think I need a good company to develop the bike to my riding style.´

On the subject of the added pressure to perform after an unimpressive season, Melandri admitted to feeling under the spotlight, declaring, `I´m still young because I´m 26 but I cannot make another mistake again with changing the bike for myself. I am quite confident though because I think I can find a good garage. If I have fun and find my confidence we can work and we can improve.´


Other updates you may be interested in ›