Marco Melandri made to wait for Kawasaki chance

1 of 1

Italian Marco Melandri will have to wait for his chance to ride Kawasaki’s factory ZX-RR after he was unable to end his Ducati nightmare in time for the German GP.

As reported in yesterday’s MCN, Melandri had tried to get released from his Ducati contract to replace injured John Hopkins in the German and American GP clashes on July 13 and 20 respectively.

But Kawasaki has just confirmed that Melandri won’t be riding a ZX-RR in the next two races.

Kawasaki were willing to let the former world 250 champion ride alongside Aussie Anthony West in the next two races, and had cleared the move with Hopkins while he recovers from a broken ankle and tibia he suffered in a massive 175mph crash in Assen.

But Ducati have blocked Melandri’s request to quit just nine races into his two-year Ducati deal, and insist that he continues to ride the GP8 on which has struggled woefully on in 2008.

Factory team boss Livio Suppo told MCN last weekend in Assen that Melandri’s situation would be assessed again after the Laguna Seca clash.

Melandri is still likely to split from Ducati after Laguna Seca and he could still end up riding a factory ZX-RR when the summer break ends for the Czech Republic GP in Brno on August 17.

Kawasaki is unlikely to ditch West to make way for Melandri, though it might consider using its test ZX-RR to accommodate Melandri. It is also understood that any deal to race this season will include a permanent deal for 2009.


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt