Remember back when Melandri was the youngest (and still is the youngest) rider to be on pole in a GP at age 15? The hope for this young ride was high but 2008 was a big set back. Marco Melandri’s results this 2009 season, since joining the Hayate Racing Team, have already been a vast improvement on 2008, including an excellent second place finish at the French GP.
This revival for both Melandri and Kawasaki is illustrated by the following:
>> Melandri’s 2nd place at Le Mans was his first podium since he was 2nd at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2007 riding a Honda.
>> This 2nd place finish equals the best ever result for Kawasaki in MotoGP.
>> It is the first podium for a Kawasaki rider since Randy De Puniet was 2nd in Japan in 2007.
>> This is the first podium by a rider from a satellite team since Andrea Dovizioso finished 3rd in Malaysia last year.
>> Melandri joins Alex Barros and Loris Capirossi as the only riders to have finished on the podium on machines
from three different manufacturers since the introduction of the MotoGP formula at the start of 2002.
>> He is the only rider to finish on the podium on four-stroke MotoGP machines from three different Japanese
>> It took Melandri until round 12 at the Czech GP last year to reach a total of 41 points; he already has 43 points from the first four races of this year.
>> Kawasaki’s current total of 43 points in the constructor’s championship is two more than they had after nine
races last year with a two man team.
>> Melandri’s current 43 championship points is the highest by a Kawasaki rider in MotoGP after the opening four races of the year.