WSB Rider of the Year: 4th - Marco Melandri
After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP Reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike Reporter) sat down to discuss who impressed them the most in each race series we cover to establish MCN’s top five riders in each category. Here’s World Superbikes…
4th – Marco Melandri
Marco Melandri made a shock return to World Superbikes this year after disappearing from the racing scene after a disastrous half-season in MotoGP with Aprilia.
After taking 18 months away, Melandri set about returning to the series in which he narrowly missed out on two titles as he looked to rejuvenate his career. Understood to be riding for Ducati for practically nothing, it was make or break time for the former MotoGP runner-up.
Thought to be significantly off the pace in early tests, many expected the Italian to struggle, and while he wasn’t able to put up a championship fight he held his own across the year to take 13 podium finishes, including an emotional victory in front of home fans in Misano.
While he didn’t have enough to challenge Rea, Davies or Sykes, he put his name back on the map and could well improve in 2018.