Italian Marco Melandri will return to the MotoGP paddock in 2015 after agreeing to partner Alvaro Bautista in the Gresini Aprilia squad and ending any hopes that Leon Camier had of a seat in the blue riband class.
Melandri did some shakedown laps on the 2015 ART today at Valencia after test rider Alex Hofmann bedded in a new, pneumatic-valved engine.
"I was offered the chance to develop a completely new project and it is something that I have not yet done in my career since I have always had 'inherited' bikes. Precisely for this reason I am very intrigued by this challenge,” said Melandri.
“I am working with a company and a racing department which sought me out and with which I want to continue to work in order to develop and grow a great project. Aprilia Racing has always demonstrated their ability to make great bikes and make them fast. I'll put in my efforts.
“Our goal is quite ambitious: to grow a bike and at the same time to develop a new prototype that will race in 2016. It will be a demanding season and a lot of work but we are ready to take on these challenges."