Returning WorldSBK hero Marco Melandri ended the two-day Jerez test fourth on the timesheets and proved he will be competitive aboard the factory Aruba Ducati.
The diminutive Italian was only half a second slower than Jonathan Rea at the Spanish circuit over one lap but couldn’t complete a race simulation as blisters on his hands - the result of not riding competitively for a year - means he will have to wait until Portimao later in the week.
“It’s been a really positive test. I expected some more difficulties after the meniscus surgery, but actually I felt quite well. The team is doing a great job and everyday I feel more comfortable on the bike. We still struggle a bit on fresh tyres, also because with the cold climate it’s more difficult to warm them up, but we’re heading in the right direction,” said Melandri.
“I would have liked to do a race simulation, but we’ll wait until Portimão because I had some blisters in my hands after such a long break. Physically I feel fine though, I recovered completely and I’m sure I’ll be 100 percent fit for Phillip Island.”