Following his retirement last year, Marco Melandri made a surprise comeback at Jerez
Melandri left the factory Aruba.it Ducati in 2018 having only ever ridden the Ducati V2, therefore Melandri had no experience of the Ducati Panigale V4 prior to a 2-hour session on the bike before the race weekend.
Following the ride of the V4, Melandri said to GPOne “This bike was born to go racing, it has great character and you have to understand how to adapt your way of riding, it seems a bit like a MotoGP bike.”
The 37-year-old started Race 1 in 19th place and finished in eighth place overall, repeating a similar feat in Race 2 to finish in ninth place from 19th on the grid. In the Superpole race, the Italian only gained one place from 19th after he was stung by a bee.
“We have a lot of things to do. It was a difficult day today because in the Superpole Race, the bee punched me in the stomach, so I slowed down a lot in the middle of the race because I had a lot of pain. Even with the bad start with bad qualifying, it was not so bad. I really feel good on the bike, but I need time to adapt myself because it’s very different from what I am used to. For the team, they are learning my requests and my riding style. After nine months out, it was not easy but to go back next week is very good for me because my mind is fresh so we can keep working hard.” The Italian said speaking to Dorna media.
Featured image – Barni Racing Team