2011 Yamaha World Superbike
The Superbike World Championship has found a new star in Marco Melandri, who today at Valencia is completing his first laps on board the Yamaha YZF-R1 he will race in next year’s championship.
In excellent weather conditions and 17° temperatures, Melandri lapped both on the ex-Crutchlow machine and with the 2011 Superbike version, which amongst other things will have a different weight distribution.
Marco Melandri says: “I immediately found a good feeling with the bike, which is very powerful but also easy to handle, it gives me the impression of being an easy bike to ‘interpret’, even though it’s still too early to give a definitive opinion. I’m here just to get an early contact with it.”
“In MotoGP there is no chance of being a protagonist if you don’t have the right bike or you’re not in the right team, in Superbike things are different. There it’s the rider that makes all the difference and that’s exactly what I’m looking for after a few disappointing seasons”,
The 28-year-old Melandri of Ravenna had declared this before making his testing debut with the R1 that won the title in 2009 with Ben Spies.
The Superbike team’s other new rider, Irishman Eugene Laverty, is also taking part in the one-day Yamaha test.
Melandri covered a total of 74 laps, setting a best time of 1’33.9 on soft tyres and 1’34.28 on race rubber, while Laverty’s best was 1’34.9. The lap record at Valencia belongs to Noriyuki Haga (Ducati, 2009) in 1’34.618.
Yamaha will next test again at the end of November at Phillip Island (Australia) together with Aprilia and world champion Max Biaggi.