Marco Melandri has billed last Sunday's Race 2 at Phillip Island as "22 qualifying lap times" as he raced his way onto the podium.

Returning to the World Superbike Championship after a two-year absense, Melandri showed in Australia that he still has what it takes to run at the front.

Although the Ducati rider failed to reach the chequered flag in Race 1, crashing out, he was P3 in Sunday's Race 2.

"A podium is always important but after two years without racing, it is even more important,"he said.

"I knew I was ready to come back strong but this gives me more confidence. After a year and a half away I don’t think I am quite 100%.

"Sunday was like 22 qualifying lap times because I did not have time to think. Sometimes I even forgot to breathe. I was very tired and also very hot.

"I need time to recover all the systems that make me a racer."