With Hayate Racing
Wasting no time whatsoever as the Qatar test commenced it was Marco Melandri who undertook Sunday evening's first lap of the floodlit Losail International Circuit.
After a period of uncertainty and having missed the first test of the year at Sepang
in February it was perhaps no surprise that Melandri would be the first out of his pit-box, notching up eight early laps before a surprise rain interruption.
Keen to get his 2009 preparations underway Melandri headed out onto the track on the Kawasaki ZX-RR under the watchful eye of Ichiro Yoda, the veteran Japanese engineer who will direct the newly formed Hayate Racing Team, for whom the Italian 26 year-old will be the sole rider.
Giving his very first thoughts on his initial 2009 outing Melandri commented on his return to the pit-box, “It was difficult getting used to being on a MotoGP bike again at first after a few months away, but the key thing is I am already feeling good on the Kawasaki.”
Assisting Melandri this season under the management of Yoda, the Hayate Racing Team Manager will be Andrea Dosoli, whilst Jasja Bos will undertake the role of Team Co-Ordinator.
Dosoli explained, “This is an important test for us in order to assess our potential. The chassis is completely new and so is the engine. The rain is not helping us early on, because we need to see exactly where we are as a team in normal conditions. It is important for us to have Marco on the bike as he is a talented rider who has great experience.”