Marlboro Ducati's Marco Melandri has said he is in the hunt for a podium this weekend at a track where he has previously won and been on the lower steps of the podium.
Coming off the back of his fifth place in China, the Italian is desperate for better results and still hs the spectre of Max Biaggi looming large. Biaggi is in the frame to test the GP8 in an effort to understand why it is not performing so well in hands other than Casey Stoner's. However, with his so-far-not-too-good WSB performances, it may well be left to Troy Bayliss.
Melandri said: "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 800. 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."