Melandri: Too soon to judge Hayate

Marco Melandri says the Hayate Kawasaki team have a long way to go before they can judge how competitive they will be in 2009

Melandri: Too soon to judge Hayate

The reconstituted squad joined this week's Qatar test after Kawasaki gave them the green light to continue with a one-bike team despite the parent company withdrawing from MotoGP.

Melandri was named as the team's rider when the Hayate Kawasaki plan was announced, but he subsequently declared that he would not commit to the project until he was confident the 2009 bike was on the pace.

The Italian admitted that Hayate had a lot of work to do at present, but said it was too soon to judge the team, who had missed the previous three-day test at Sepang while waiting for Kawasaki to finalise their plans, although they did manage a private test in Australia.

"The feeling was quite okay with the bike and we've been working very hard on all three days to improve the set-up of the bike," Melandri told the official MotoGP website on the final night at Losail.

"But still we are pretty far away with the rear grip and the traction, so we really have to improve and make some big changes to understand our potential. Right now we are pretty far from everyone.

"Right now we are not at 100 per cent of our potential, so we have to work a lot to understand how close we are to the other competitors."

Although he made a promising start by taking second place on the rain-affected first night, when conditions improved Melandri slipped towards the back of the pack, and was slowest of all yesterday evening, 3.1 seconds behind pace-setter Casey Stoner's Ducati.

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