I am not sure about this one, but the word out of Italy is that Marco Melandri is set this week to announce his retirement from motorcycle racing. Naturally, we are intrigued.
The rumor comes from La Gazzetta dello Sport (the same publication that’s also currently saying – quite dubiously, we might add – that this will be Jorge Lorenzo’s last season racing in MotoGP), and now the sports magazine suggests that Melandri is ready to hang up his leathers after a tough year back in WorldSBK.
The news is supposedly going to come during a press conference set for tomorrow (Tuesday), with Melandri finishing out the season with the GRT Yamaha squad.
The satellite Yamaha team is said to be keen to keep Melandri though, and while 2019 has been a tough one for the Italian rider, it is clear from the progress shown by the other riders in blue, that Melandri could be at the pointy end of the equation if a couple steps can be made.
We have seen Melandri’s mercurial personality on two wheels before though, with the 36-year-old unable to produce anything of note while on the Aprilia MotoGP team – a move he vehemently opposed as he preferred to stay in WorldSBK.
As such, it is not crazy to think of this year as Melandri’s final season racing motorcycles, but the concept does still surprise us. Luckily, we shall know more in just a matter of a few hours.
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport; Photo: © 2019 Stephen McClements – All Rights Reserved