Marco Melandri admits he was reluctant to return to MotoGP

Marco Melandri has admitted he only came back to MotoGP with Aprilia reluctantly and would have preferred to remain in World Superbikes for 2015

Marco Melandri admits he was reluctant to return to MotoGP

Aprilia has dropped its factory WSBK programme in favour of its new MotoGP project with Gresini, and brought Melandri back to grand prix racing with it.

Melandri's return was the last 2015 MotoGP deal to be announced, and he conceded that the process involved had been "strange".

"It's all happened very quickly, very abruptly. It's been strange," he told Motosprint.

"At the time when the chance for Aprilia to do MotoGP instead of Superbikes was becoming concrete, they took up the option to make me stay for 2015.

"I was a bit perplexed, I couldn't understand it. But at the same time I was happy because I was convinced that, in the end, the SBK project would have gone on.

"Instead, shortly after, I was asked to find an agreement again - but for MotoGP.

"It was difficult to decide, that's why I took my time.

"I have only tried to understand if it was possible to stay another year in order to win in SBK, while beginning work for MotoGP in 2016. But that wasn't possible."

Asked if he had pushed to get answers over Aprilia's change of plan, Melandri replied: "No, because I already have one thousand questions that need answers.

"And besides, even if I had an answer, it wouldn't change the situation."

He is concerned that the Aprilia project will be a long way off the pace at first.

Its initial bike will have its roots in the ART machinery used by CRT/Open class MotoGP teams in recent seasons, before a new MotoGP bike is prepared for the major technical rule changes in 2016.

"We are trying to catch up, and I don't know how much progress we can do in the short term," Melandri said.

"We need to live it like an experience ahead of 2016 - that's the important year."

The 32-year-old Italian, who won five grands prix on Gresini's Hondas in 2005 and '06, is confident Aprilia will make progress given time, and that he is still quick enough to succeed in MotoGP.

"I'm returning a bit quietly now - we know we certainly don't have victories in our sights at the start, but we have an important and ambitious project," he said.

"I'm not afraid of not being able to adapt to modern MotoGP riding, but I'm not going to say that I'll be as quick as [Marc] Marquez, as that would be arrogant and stupid.

"When I'm well sorted, I can be quick."

Translation by Michele Lostia

shares
comments
MotoGP rookie Jack Miller undergoes shoulder surgery

Previous article

MotoGP rookie Jack Miller undergoes shoulder surgery

Next article

Yamaha says Jorge Lorenzo won't repeat poor 2014 MotoGP season

Yamaha says Jorge Lorenzo won't repeat poor 2014 MotoGP season
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri
Teams AB Motoracing
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021