Ducati team boss Livio Suppo said he was pleased to see his former rider Marco Melandri back on the podium in the French Grand Prix.
Melandri endured a dreadful season in the factory Ducati squad last year, failing to match team-mate Casey Stoner and only once finishing in the top five. His multi-year contract was terminated early in favour of a move to Kawasaki, which became a ride for the private Hayate team when the Kawasaki factory pulled out of MotoGP.
Despite low expectations at the start of the season, Melandri has proved to be a revelation on the Hayate bike, and followed up top six finishes at Motegi and Jerez with a superb second place at Le Mans today.
Suppo said Ducati never had any doubts about Melandri's talent so he was pleased to see him back to his best.
"I'm really happy," he told the BBC. "Last year with Marco didn't work at all. But we knew he had competitive speed and was a very fast rider."
The Ducati boss believes Melandri is showing that he is better suited to being in an underdog situation.
"He needed different motivation and no pressure," Suppo said. "At this moment he has no pressure because he's on a bike that nobody believes is a good bike, but maybe it is.
"Not being made to do a comparison with a team-mate is a totally different situation for him. I'm personally happy for him that he's doing well."