Today at the track in Jerez de la Frontera we finally witnessed the return of Superbike to the track. Together with the production-based racing series, which has not had a race weekend since early March, Marco Melandri was also back on the track with a helmet that had not been used since the end of last season, after accepting a call from Barni to replace Leon Camier .
“I don't remember it ever being like this - Marco said at the end of FP2 - After two laps I was already out of breath, it's really hot at Jerez and the race will be really complicated. I have no physical problems, mind you, I trained almost every day, the problem this weekend is not your muscles but the heat ".
How did the idea of returning to the track to compete in the SBK championship come about?
“It was a surprise to tell the truth. Already this winter the Barni team was looking for a tester given Camier's condition, but I hadn't even thought about it because at that moment my mind was focused on something else. During the lockdown, however, I recharged my batteries and as soon as it was possible, I went back to racing on the track with some friends. Then came the chance to come back and here I am. "
What sort of day was it today? What feelings did you have on the Panigale V4?
"I am really happy; together with the team we made some adjustments on the bike that made it closer to my tastes and my riding style. Now I have to adapt to both the V4 and the environmental and track conditions, I have yet to find the right balance. I am satisfied with the work done this afternoon because I got closer to the best but I have to improve a lot with the new tyres, even if I feel more comfortable every time I go out".
In recent weeks we have heard you on DAZN's microphones as a technical commentator on MotoGP. What are your predictions about this weekend's races?
“I expect there will be a lot of fast riders in the early laps, then most will have problems with managing the tyres. It will not be a fast race; we will all be a bit in difficulty with the front ".
Photo from: Barni Racing Team Facebook