Melandri To Ride For Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike Team

It's been clear for some time now that Marco Melandri's career in MotoGP is over. The Italian shone brightly for a couple of years on the 990 MotoGP bikes, but his fortunes have faded since the switch to 800cc, and especially since his disastrous year on the Ducati in 2008. A return to the Gresini Honda team in 2010, the team that he scored his most famous victories with, could not turn Melandri's MotoGP career around, and the Italian is now headed for World Superbikes.

It had generally been expected that Melandri would be joining BMW's World Superbike squad for 2011, taking the place of the disappointing Ruben Xaus. But Italian site is reporting that Melandri will not be heading for the German manufacturer, but will instead take a seat in the Sterilgarda Yamaha squad. According to, Melandri's manager met with Lin Jarvis and Laurens Klein Koerkamp of Yamaha, and has agreed terms for 2011. An official announcement is expected to be made tomorrow after the World Superbike race at the Nurburgring in Germany.

The news is further confirmation that at least one of Yamaha's two World Superbike riders are due to depart the squad. Cal Crutchlow is widely expected to announce his move to the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha squad this weekend, which would vacate at least one seat in the Sterilgarda Yamaha squad, but James Toseland has also been linked to the BMW Motorrad team, and could also take the place of Xaus. Once announcements have been made by Crutchlow and Melandri, more of the chips may start to fall in the World Superbike silly season.

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.... I did NOT see this coming. I was thinking the BMW connection was looking strong.

I like Marco, he is a massive talent, but he needs to fight around problems rather then complain about them.

Good luck to him at Yamaha. If he does well ( IE win the title) Herve would have him for Tech3 in 2012... maybe.

I'm also surprised at this announcement. I'm shocked that Melandria has chosen to shun Tardozzi in favor of Meregalli. Hell hath no fury like a Tardozzi so Melandri has just burned any and all bridges to Tardozzi-run outfits, imo.

I think BMW was a much better choice, but maybe he is unsure about BMW entering MotoGP in 2012. Like Toby and Jules said, if 1000cc doesn't encourage the manufacturers, BMW in particular, what's the point?

Fabrizio to BMW, Toseland (back) to Ten Kate, Xaus to a private Ducati team.


Or not.  B)

so this means bmw aren't gonna be in motogp in 2012 then?

the only reason he wouldn't go to bmw surely?

With Edwards (maybe) in his last year next year, maybe Melandri thinks that Yamaha is a better bet to get back to the show.

which would just put him back on a satellite bike and in the same situation he's in now

.... the Satellite M1's are closer to their Factory brothers, then the RCV Sats are to the Repsols.

Lets be honest, the only really good sat Honda out there is Randys. That bike is a cooking pot of all different parts from different years, its just that Randy likes them.

I heard from Jules & Toby that the Ohlin forks, for example, are from the old Illmor Project !

I still would have liked to see MM#33 on the BMW. I think they would listern to him more and make the bike work for him better. Just like the RSV works great for Max #3.

The satellite M1 is a BMX bike with a weedwacker engine. If it was a proper bike Spiesus would be lapping Lorenzo twice per race.

Maybe with the BMW engine being chosen for the likes of the Suter bike they have little interest in supporting their own factory effort which will be short on engines and gas. "Powered by BMW" is likely enough to get their points across in racing. And if they get some data back from the teams I don't think the rules committee should automatically disqualify those teams from being budget conscious CRT efforts.

Teams like winners and I think it doesn't matter so much where he goes in WSBK as long as he runs at the top and is willing to come back to less than a factory Yamaha, Honda or Ducati.

Honestly I really don't see any riders outside of MotoGP that impress me enough to move up or take any ones spot in GP. Crutchlow I am not sure if he will make an impact in GP. He has only won 2 races in WSBK on a bike Spies was fairly dominant on. I see him as a mid pack rider and thats only because he will be on the Yamaha.

I caught that as well about Tardozzi. Melandri going to Sterilgarda Yamaha all of a sudden makes sense if indeed Tardozzi is heading there too.