Melandri targets more success
BMW newcomer Marco Melandri is desperate to return to the World Superbike podium this weekend at an Assen circuit with fond memories for him.
The Italian could only finish sixth and 10th at Imola last time out as he failed to build on a promising second place in the season opener at Phillip Island.
But his hopes were raised by some promising signs in testing ahead of the journey to Holland and one of his preferred tracks.
"I have very good memories of Assen," Melandri told autosport.com. "I celebrated my first victory in the 125cc World Championship there when I was 15, so it is a really special racetrack for me.
"Unfortunately the track now is much shorter. It is not the same as it was before. The old Assen was awesome. The last part of the new circuit is very nice, but the first part is quite narrow and very slow.
"At the test at Imola we found some good solutions. I am now more confident and hopefully we can see the result of the work we have put in as soon as Assen.
"I hope to have two good races and to fight for the podium. In any case, me and the team will give our all."
Reigning series champion Carlos Checa goes into the weekend's racing on top of the standings once more and able to fall back on good memories of his own from last year's Assen event.
The Spaniard went off on pole for the opener on that occasion and, though he could only finish third in that race, he added victory in the second from third on the grid.