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Melandri motivated by developing Aprilia machine in MotoGP

Melandri motivated by developing Aprilia machine in MotoGP

Experienced Italian rider Marco Melandri makes a welcome return to MotoGP™ in 2015 with Aprilia and the new Factory Aprilia Gresini team.

Ahead of the forthcoming preseason tests in Sepang in February caught up with Melandri to get his thoughts on his return to the Grand Prix scene.

Last summer it looked like you would stay with Aprilia in World Superbikes, but then you eventually signed for their new MotoGP team. Can you explain that process?

"My goal was to be with Aprilia in Superbikes for two years, but everything changed unexpectedly when the factory decided to focus their efforts towards the MotoGP World Championship. At first I was hesitant to accept the challenge as I had doubts about the competitiveness of a new bike, whereas there was the possibility of winning in Superbikes. But I was encouraged by the idea of developing a MotoGP bike with the team."

You are returning to MotoGP after four seasons, what are your goals for 2015?

"My goal is to improve step by step. If I get the bike to evolve I’ll be satisfied. As for results, perhaps it is too early to talk about a real goal. I think we should at least wait for the test in Qatar (14th to 17th March) to know what point we are at. My personal motivation depends on the situation around me. The willpower of all the team members, if they work their hardest, that will encourage me to do my best."

In the new team you'll be with Fausto Gresini, who you have worked with in the past. How is your professional relationship with him?

"I'm happy to work with Fausto, who above all is a friend. He helped me a lot during some difficult years. Aprilia brings very important experience that will mean a great collaboration. For Fausto, switching brands after so many years will also be positive."

What are your impressions of Roman Albesiano, Sporting Director at Aprilia?

"Romano (Albesiano) has come in at a crucial moment. MotoGP is obviously a big responsibility for him and it won’t be easy, but I’m confident in his ability and I'm sure that his knowledge will serve him well in the project."

What did you find in the first test in Valencia and what goals have you set yourself for the next test in Sepang?

"The first contact with the bike did not give too many reference points, because the machine was very different from what I was used to riding in Superbikes. For Malaysia we will have a new bike, with a new chassis and electronics. It will be important to ensure that everything is set-up well and that the development of the bike is moving in the right direction. That will give me the confidence to perform at the level I'm capable of."

MotoGP, 2015, Marco Melandri, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, Marco Melandri

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