Marco Melandri rules out World Superbike move

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Not that there are any top factory rides going vacant in World Superbikes, Marco Melandri has ruled out saving his 2009 season with a switch to WSB.

The Italian is currently searching for a ride following the sudden and shock collapse of Kawasaki’s factory squad during the Christmas break, and his manager Alberto Vergani has already spoken to Fausto Gresini and Lucio Cecchinello about a ride.

Melandri’s options might appear limited in MotoGP unless a Kawasaki rescue plan can be launched, though he has also been linked with a ride alongside Yuki Takahashi in the Scot Honda squad, All of the top rides though in World Superbikes have long been filled, with Aprilia, BMW, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki all sorted.

Melandri though, who has won five MotoGP races and finished runner-up to Valentino Rossi in 2005, isn’t keen on a WSB move should a ride become available.

Vergani told MCN: “Marco wants to stay in MotoGP. Marco is still only 26 so his MotoGP career is not finished and he has the experience to fight at the front. I think you can only go to World Superbikes if you have a really good package in an official team.

“But everybody has completed their plans and it is too late. It is funny when you think 12 months ago everybody thought Marco would be fighting for the world title with the world champion team and now he is without a ride with little chance to ride.

“Life is strange like that. Marco is realistic and he knows there are people that are worse off than him. He is just waiting and seeing what happens but he is not complaining even though at the moment there is no alternative.

On the current situation with Kawasaki, Vergani added: “We are just sitting and waiting to hear from them, but at the moment there is no alternative. It is very hard to find a bike in January and in a normal situation it is crazy to try and find a ride in January. “

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt