Photo: World Superbike
Roadracer Marco Melandri has announced his retirement at the end of the 2019 World Superbike season.
Melandri is currently racing for the GRT Yamaha team in WSB, having moved over to the superbike series after a disastrous start with Aprilia’s MotoGP team in 2015, as pictured in the title photo. He’d been in World Superbike before that, since 2011, and had been in MotoGP’s two-stroke and four-stroke series even before that. In 1998, his rookie season in MotoGP’s 125 cc series, he won a race age 15, setting a record that stood for years.
However, despite his massive amount of talent, the Italian racer has never managed to win a championship in either MotoGP or World Superbike. The best he managed was a second overall in the 1999 MotoGP 125 cc standings. Melandri finished fifth overall in last year’s World Superbike series. This year, he’s ninth overall, and has earned three podiums.
“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,” Melandri said.
Melandri will be 36 when he retires at the end of the season, and he had a career that saw many highlights on the same grid as some of roadracing’s greatest legends, and while riding for many of the sport’s top teams.