The former 250cc World Champion and MotoGP race winner, Marco Melandri has stated that he plans to retire from racing following the conclusion of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship’s final round in Qatar.
The 36 years old Italian first competed in the 125cc class in 1997. In 2002, Melandri was crowned the 250cc Class World Champion. In 2003, Melandri moved up to the premier class, where he remained for several years, earning several races wins. His most successful year was in 2005 when he finished second in points, behind Valentino Rossi. In 2011, he transitioned to the WorldSBK Championship where he has won 22 races with an overall podium total of 75.
“The decision to retire was a very difficult one for me to make. I’d been thinking about it for some time and, before the Imola race, I finally decided to call it a day at the end of the 2019 season. I’m still competitive and I think it’s better to stop at this point, while I still enjoy racing, rather than waiting until the enjoyment and the results are more difficult to achieve. Since making the decision I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and now that everyone knows this is my final year, I’m even more motivated to push for good results in the final few races. In part it’s for me, as I’d like to go out on a high, but it’s also to repay the faith that both Yamaha and the GRT Yamaha team have shown in me. It’s been a difficult season, but they have worked so hard to help me realize my potential. They never gave up on me and I hope that my experience has helped the team adapt to racing in WorldSBK just that little bit quicker. I’m looking forward to seeing out my final season with them and I intend to give it my all, treating every lap like a qualifying lap and pushing to improve myself and bring the team the results they deserve. Then it will be time to move on and do something different with my life. For me it’s been a fantastic journey; thank you to everyone I met along the way.” – Marco Melandri,
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK.