Marco Meldandri will finish his racing career at the end of the Superbike World Championship in Qatar in 2019, he has now officially announced. Until then, he will play for GRT Yamaha in the WSBK with full commitment.
Marco Melandri ends his career
The 36-year-old world champion has already completed three decades of racing. At age 15 he entered the world stage in 1998 and became the youngest Grand Prix winner in Assen. The record lasted for 10 years.
Already the following season Melandri could win five races and missed the 125cc world championship just because one point.
In the 250cc World Championship he won nine races and thus the World Cup in 2002. In the premier class, the MotoGP, he had his most successful season in 2005. He took the last two race wins and became runner-up. The World Cup went to Valentino Rossi.
In 2011 he moved to the WorldSBK. He won four races in the first season on the Yamaha R1. Here he became runner-up too. Overall, he made it to the podium in this class 75 times, of which he was 22 times at the top.
Marco Melandri: 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 realise 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.”
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