Marco Melandri © Getty Images
Marco Melandri believes that when the WSBK series gets to Motorland Aragon in April for the third meeting of the season, his Aruba.it Racing team will hand-over a bike that is capable of getting him over the finish line in first place.
Melandri has enjoyed a solid start to the new WSBK season.
In Australia on the first weekend of racing he was forced to retire in Race One, but then showed great character to bounce back in Race Two and claim third.
In Thailand, making his debut on the Chang International Circuit, the Italian claimed fourth and third in Race One and Race Two respectively.
However, as consistent as he has been, he is already 55 points behind Championship leader Jonthan Rea, who has won all four races so far in 2017.
Melandri has never won a WSBK Championship. At 34-years-of-age, time is fast running out.
If this is to be his year, then his team need to make improvements to his Ducati Panigale R, and they need to do it quickly.
Melandri is confident that come Spain, his team will have made the needed adjustments to give him the opportunity to go head-to-head with the likes of Rea, Chaz Davies, Tom Sykes and Alex Lowes.
“This has been a good weekend for us [the Thailand leg]. In such difficult conditions, on a new track for me, it feels good to be close to the front,” Melandri pointed out.
“Being passed at the very last turn in both races isn't ideal, but I struggled with braking since the first free-practice session and it wasn't possible to be more aggressive in what is the most critical corner of the circuit.
“That said, the team has done a great job.
“We still lack something, but we have some good ideas and we'll keep pushing at 100 per cent to reach our rivals. I expect to do so already in Aragon.”