We mentioned last week that Marco Melandri — still waiting to hear if he’ll be riding anything in Moto GP this year — was going to try a ride in the Speedcar spec "stock" car series for fun.
He had fun all right, finishing eighth in the first race of a double-head at the Losail track in Qatar, then taking pole and leading the second race until gearbox problems knocked him out four laps from the end. Considering that half the grid is made up of former Formula One drivers and Melandri’s never raced a car before, that’s seriously impressive.
Still, the Italian remains hopeful that he’ll be on a Kawasak in Moto GP this year. Dorna, owner of the Moto GP series, is still negotiating with Kawasaki to get their bikes to be run by a private (albeit at least partly Dorna-financed) team. Dorna is frantic to keep the grid numbers up due to series sponsor and TV commitments.
Melandri is under no illusions that the bike will be competitive if the deal happens, but says, "I will have nothing to lose. I just have to show that I can still want to fight, and then I can find a good situation for 2010."