Yamaha ‘surprised but respect’ Melandri retirement call

Yamaha WorldSBK boss Andrea Dosoli admits he wasn't expecting Marco Melandri's retirement revelation but respects his decision to take control of his future.
Yamaha ‘surprised but respect’ Melandri retirement call

Yamaha Motor Europe manager Andrea Dosoli says he didn’t expect to be informed of Marco Melandri’s decision to retire from motorsport at the end of the 2019 World Superbike Championship, but ‘respects’ his choice to do so.

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, Melandri revealed he will be hanging up his leathers this year after more than two decades of international competition, citing a desire to exit the sport whilst he was still competitive.

Currently competing with the satellite GRT Yamaha team in WorldSBK, to date Melandri has accumulated 22 wins and 75 podiums in the Superbike series, plus five wins at MotoGP level and a famous run to the runners-up spot overall in 2005.

Fittingly ending his career at Yamaha, where Melandri started both his MotoGP and WorldSBK endeavours in 2003 and 2011 respectively, Dosoli praised the Italian for his contribution to both the company and the sport.

“I was surprised when Marco informed me of his decision to retire. I'm sure it wasn't an easy step for him to take, but we respect his reasons for doing so. Marco's decision will bring to an end an incredibly successful career that has seen him racing and winning at the very highest level for many years.

“I'm pleased that, for a part of this long and distinguished career, Marco was a committed member of the Yamaha Racing family, where his contribution to our success was significant.

“In 2011 he raced the Yamaha YZF-R1 to second place in the WorldSBK Championship and, while this season has so far been a difficult one, he has maintained the level of professionalism for which he is renowned and worked tirelessly to achieve the results of which we know he is capable.

“Marco's achievements in what has been a remarkable career are already impressive, but Yamaha and the GRT Yamaha team are committed to helping him bow out on a high note during the final races of the 2019 season.

“On behalf of Yamaha Motor Europe, but also personally, I'd like to thank Marco for his contribution to Yamaha and to motorsport. We wish him every success for the future."

Melandri’s exit is set to assure Sandro Cortese’s extension with the team for 2020, with Tamaha’s WorldSSP title contender Federico Caricasulo now favourite to step up alongside him.