Melandri proves he can ride the Kawasaki in Jerez

Japan could have been an anomaly -the result of equal track time for all riders in preparation. Jerez left no doubt. Marco Melandri took a stunning fifth at the Gran Premi de España, showing that the Hayate Racing bike and the Italian himself are ready to exceed expectations in 2009.

Melandri was one of the most energetic riders of the day, engaging in pass after pass in an entertaining tussle towards the business end of the race. Once again, he was hugely satisfied with his final placing.

5th – Marco Melandri Speaks…

"It was such a nice race for us. We weren’t as good in practice, but we worked really hard for the race. We changed the setup a lot, and we had grip problems like everyone else," he analysed.

"I had a nice fight with Colin (Edwards) and Loris (Capirossi), with plenty of clean passes. We tried to catch Randy de Puniet, but I don’t think that he made a single mistake out there."

"Determination is definitely our secret weapon. There is determination from all sides; the mechanics, the engineers, from me. Everyone is working towards the same goal. If we carry on like this, we might even start to get some good luck!"

If his motivation was questioned during his year with Ducati, the Marco Melandri v2.0 seen in 2009 is a different beast altogether. The attitude is shared amongst his threadbare team as well.