Melandri: ‘For now, it’s just a test with MV’

Thursday, 22 October 2015 11:31 GMT

Italian rider claims not to be planning full-time comeback.

Having been away from the race track for several months, Marco Melandri is soon to ride the MV Agusta F4 in a WorldSBK test in order to help the Schiranna-based manufacturer develop its 2016 bike. The Italian chats with

“I don’t even know how I got the opportunity!” he laughs. “Last week I visited the MV Agusta headquarters and had a fantastic meeting with Giovanni Castiglioni (MV Agusta President). He is a very balanced and humble person with very realistic goals. This led me to agree to do the bike tests. In fact, I haven’t been on a bike for four months; I’ve not been off a bike for that long since I started racing and it won’t be easy getting back on.”

The uniqueness of the upcoming MV test, according to Melandri, is the possibility of giving guidelines and relevant information for the bike.

“I’ve always liked developing a bike and I think this is the right time,” he continues. “I’ll be able to make an important contribution, which I’ve never really been able to do in quite this way in the past.”

It has been suggested by the press that the test could be a way for Melandri to explore the possibility of a full-time ride with the MV Agusta Reparto Corse team in World Supebrike, but the Romagna rider was quick to banish such rumours.

“You should ask MV about that,” he says. “Right now, the idea is just to do a test. First I have to see if I still enjoy it, understanding where the bike is at and seeing whether I am able to do it.

“I do miss racing and going for it. So now I am looking for a clear situation and a specific task. I certainly wouldn’t want to return to have a seat at all costs, I have no intention to do that. It’s been a tough year and I think this break has done me good, to allow myself a full 360. I think I can be even faster and, in fact, for me the last part of the 2014 season was one of the most successful I have had. I am now waiting to find the right opportunity.”

2015 has had a significant impact on the decisions and ideas of Melandri, having begun the season in MotoGP for what proved to be a difficult spell with Aprilia.

“I’m working on next year to see if I find anything,” he continues. “If I don’t find anything, I still want to get up early in the morning to go to work and I will be looking to see if this world will offer me anything away from motorbikes.

“I haven’t really seen the races this year. Only the ones in which I competed. To be honest, it’s been a year in which I lost the desire to ride; I had some really strange feelings about it all because I just wasn’t enjoying it.

“Funnily enough, I’ve done more races since I last stopped riding! I like to run and every Sunday I’ve been doing some kind of race, but without the pressure of performing. I like it. It’s part of me.”

The 250cc Grand Prix racing World Champion with Aprilia in 2002, Melandri competed in WorldSBK between 2011 and 2014. During that time, the now 33-year-old won 19 races and racked up a total of 49 podium finishes from 100 race starts.