Having struggled with degradation throughout winter testing, Marco Melandri was encouraged by the grip levels he found with his Aruba.it Ducati on the final day of testing.

Back in World Superbikes for the first time since 2014, Melandri was on the pace on the final day of pre-season testing.

The Italian, 34, posted a 1:32.216 to finish second quickest, just 0.030s behind reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea.

It was a positive end to the pre-season with Melandri hoping he can carry Tuesday's gains through into this weekend's season-opener in Australia.

"After a difficult first day because of bad weather, we got off a solid start," he said of the final day of testing.

"In the afternoon the hotter conditions reduced the overall grip but the team has done a great job.

"We tried new settings, which proved to work very well for me.

"The thing I'm happiest about is that we managed to finally maximise the grip on new tyres, which had been somewhat a weak spot for us throughout the winter.

"It's only a test, but it's always important to feel good on the bike so I'm hopeful ahead of the racing weekend, which I'll take step by step."