Marco Melandri

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Marco Melandri
2005 0512 Marco Melandri.jpg
Marco Melandri
Nationality Italian
Born (1982-08-07) August 7, 1982 (age 32)
Ravenna (Italy)
Current team Aprilia Racing Team
Bike number 33
Website marcomelandri.co.uk
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 20032010
Manufacturers Yamaha (20032004)
Honda (20052007, 2010)
Ducati (2008)
Kawasaki (2009)
Championships 0
2010 Championship position 10th (103 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
131 5 20 0 3 1017
250cc World Championship
Active years 20002002
Manufacturers Aprilia
Championships 1 (2002)
2002 Championship position 1st (298 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
47 10 25 3 8 651
125cc World Championship
Active years 19971999
Manufacturers Honda
Championships 0
1999 Championship position 2nd (226 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
29 7 17 6 5 428
Superbike World Championship
Active years 2011–present
Manufacturers BMW, Yamaha
Championships 0
2012 Championship position 3rd (328.5 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
51 10 26 1 3 723.5

Marco Melandri (born August 7, 1982) is an Italian motorcycle road racer currently racing for Aprilia Factory World Superbike Team. Melandri is also a former 250cc World Champion in 2002. Melandri currently lives 2 miles away from the famous race track, Donington Park, Leicestershire, England.

Career[edit]

Early days[edit]

Melandri was born in Ravenna. He was introduced to racing by a former rider Loris Reggiani at the age of six. He came through the ranks from minibikes, motocross and then the Italian and European 125cc championship.

In 1997, Melandri won the Italian 125cc championship, also finishing 4th in European 125cc championship. In addition to his European success, he made his debut in 125cc world championship at Brno, Czech Republic as a wild card rider.

125cc (1998–1999)[edit]

After impressing in Italian and European championship in 1997, Melandri finally got his chance to compete in 1998 125cc world championship as a regular. He rode Honda 125cc bike under Benetton Honda Team. He went on to impress many as he earned his first podium in the fourth race of the season, where he finished second in his home Grand Prix at Mugello, Italy. His brilliant debut season continued when he won his first grand prix at Assen TT, Netherlands. He won this race at the age of 15 years and 324 days which made him the youngest ever Grand Prix winner, at the time. Overall, he won two Grand Prix in his debut season and therefore he finished the season at 3rd position in overall standings behind champion Kazuto Sakata and runner-up Tomomi Manako.

He remained on the same bike and team in 1999, where he bid to win the 125cc world championship. He went on to win 5 Grand Prix but failed to win the championship, finishing second behind Emilio Alzamora with just a single point difference. Failure in securing his first world championship did not stop his rise to 250cc world championship in 2000.

250cc (2000–2002)[edit]

Melandri was signed by Aprilia in 2000 to replace another Italian Valentino Rossi who left the team and 250cc class for 500cc class. He was highly expected to take over Rossi's shoes and to win the 250cc world championship. However, his debut season did not start as well as the expectation. He struggled to adapt to bigger bike and higher competition. He failed to win any Grand Prix in 2000, managing only 4 podiums, all came late in the season. Despite these problems, he still finishes the season at 5th position overall.

In 2001, his performances were improving. He managed to win his first 250cc Grand Prix at Sachsenring, Germany. However, it was his only win in 2001. Despite managing to appear on the podium on 9 occasions, he never really challenged for the championship. He finished the season in 3rd position behind champion Daijiro Kato and runner-up Tetsuya Harada.

2002 proved to be Melandri's chance to shine. With 2001 champion and runner-up, Kato and Harada moved to MotoGP class, he became the strongest contender for the championship. He dominated the season by collecting 9 wins and 3 additional podiums. After challenging for world championship for years, he finally won the 250cc world title. He became the youngest 250cc world champion at the age of 20 years and 74 days until Dani Pedrosa broke his record in 2004.

MotoGP (2003–2010)[edit]

After securing the 250cc world title in 2002, Melandri moved up to MotoGP class to spearhead Yamaha factory team alongside Carlos Checa in 2003 replacing the departing Max Biaggi. The Yamaha was less competitive than Honda and Ducati, and he struggled to succeed for the season. He finished the season in fifteenth position without collecting any wins and only two third places.

He joined Yamaha satellite team, Tech 3 in 2004 alongside Norick Abe. This season, he again struggled to get top results. Although he managed to collect two consecutive podiums, a series of crashes and retirements kept him out of the top 10 in overall standings. He finished the season in twelfth position.

Released from his Yamaha contract after the 2004 season, Melandri was the surprise choice of boss Fausto Gresini to join Sete Gibernau in the Movistar Honda team for the 2005 MotoGP campaign. Melandri was remarkably successful with Movistar Honda in 2005, with a consistent run of podium finishes early in the season, ultimately taking his first two wins in the final two races of 2005 to clinch second place in the championship. In doing so, he was the first Honda rider to win back-to-back races for nearly two years, winning the final two rounds of the MotoGP Championship at Istanbul, Turkey, and in Valencia. Although he never really challenged his best friend Valentino Rossi for the title, he finished the season strongly as runner-up, with a total of two wins and five other podiums.

Melandri rode for Gresini's Fortuna Honda team alongside Toni Elías in the 2006 season. With Rossi struggling to find consistency, he was a major challenger, along with Ducati's Loris Capirossi and Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa. He again won at Istanbul, despite starting from fourteenth on the grid. He managed further wins at Le Mans, France and Phillip Island, Australia. He finished the season in fourth position, just one point behind Capirossi.

In 2007, Melandri and Elias remained in the Honda Gresini team, now sponsored by Hannspree. Honda's 800cc machine was not competitive. Melandri finished on the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Le Mans – at this point he and works rider Dani Pedrosa were the only Honda riders with multiple podiums. He ultimately finished fifth overall, second only to Pedrosa among the Honda riders.

Melandri at the 2009 British Grand Prix.

Immediately after Melandri's 3rd place finish in the 2007 USA's MotoGP round, Ducati announced that he would join its factory team alongside Casey Stoner for 2008 and 2009. But 2008 proved disastrous, with a run of uncompetitive runs often leaving him behind the semi-works Alice Team bikes of Toni Elías and Sylvain Guintoli. At Assen he qualified last and ran there throughout. A rumoured mid-season move to Kawasaki did not occur, however Melandri announced that he would be joining Kawasaki Racing Team for the 2009 MotoGP season to ride alongside his new team-mate John Hopkins on 19 August.[1] He then ended the season in a lacklustre 17th position.

Kawasaki pulled its factory involvement for 2009, leading to fears that Melandri would not have a ride,[2] however a rescue package was agreed to allow Melandri to run the bike for a one-bike semi-works Hayate Racing team, despite his concerns over the bike's poor rear traction.[3] In 2009 Melandri achieved his first podium since 2007 with his 2nd place finish at the wet French motorcycle Grand Prix. His only other top six finishes were in the first three races, as the team tailed off bike development and Melandri finished tenth overall.[4] At Brno he battled Mika Kallio for sixth before a penultimate-lap collision between the two.[5]

For 2010, Melandri returned to Gresini Honda, with a factory-spec RC212V bike from the start.[6] Full factory support had sometimes been promised, but not provided, during his first Gresini spell.[7] The team made set-up errors in its initial testing.[8]

Superbike World Championship[edit]

Melandri moves into the Superbike World Championship from 2011 with the Yamaha World Superbike Team, replacing Cal Crutchlow, who moved to the Tech 3 team in MotoGP.[9]

On 2 October 2011, Melandri signed a contract to ride with the BMW World Superbike team for the 2012 season,[10] after Yamaha elected not to continue with a factory team after the 2011 season. Melandri achieved BMW's best result, at the time, in the Superbike World Championship, with a second place in the season-opening race at Phillip Island, having started 13th on the grid.[11] Mixed results followed at Imola, Assen and Monza, but Melandri achieved BMW's first Superbike World Championship victory at the European round at Donington Park,[12] leading home team-mate Leon Haslam in a 1–2 finish. Melandri and Haslam collided in the meeting's second race, denying a weekend sweep for BMW. From that point, Melandri won races at Miller Motorsports Park, Motorland Aragón and a double at Brno, to move within 21 points of the championship lead held by Max Biaggi.[13]

Car racing[edit]

In addition to his motorcycle racing career, Melandri has also competed in car racing. He raced in two rounds of the 2008-09 Speedcar Series season, scoring two points from the four races.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Prix motorcycle racing[edit]

By season[edit]

Seas Class Moto Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
1997 125cc Honda RS125R 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC 0
1998 125cc Honda RS125R 14 2 8 3 1 202 3rd 0
1999 125cc Honda RS125R 14 5 9 3 4 226 2nd 0
2000 250cc Aprilia RSV250 16 0 4 1 0 159 5th 0
2001 250cc Aprilia RSV250 15 1 9 0 4 194 3rd 0
2002 250cc Aprilia RSV250 16 9 12 2 4 298 1st 1
2003 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Yamaha-YMR 13 0 0 0 0 45 15th 0
2004 MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 Tech 3 15 0 2 0 0 75 12th 0
2005 MotoGP Honda RC211V Gresini Racing 17 2 7 0 3 220 2nd 0
2006 MotoGP Honda RC211V Gresini Racing 17 3 7 0 0 228 4th 0
2007 MotoGP Honda RC212V Gresini Racing 17 0 3 0 0 187 5th 0
2008 MotoGP Ducati Desmosedici GP8 Ducati Corse 18 0 0 0 0 51 17th 0
2009 MotoGP Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR Hayate Racing Team 17 0 1 0 0 108 10th 0
2010 MotoGP Honda RC212V San Carlo Honda Gresini Team 17 0 0 0 0 103 10th 0
Total 207 22 62 9 16 2096 1

By class[edit]

Class Seas 1st GP 1st Pod 1st Win Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts WCh
125cc 1997–1999 1997 Czech Rep. 1998 Italy 1998 Dutch 29 7 17 6 5 428 0
250cc 2000–2002 2000 South Africa 2000 Portugal 2001 Germany 47 10 25 3 8 651 1
MotoGP 2003–2010 2003 Japan 2004 Catalunya 2005 Turkey 131 5 20 0 3 1017 0
Total 1997–2010 207 22 62 9 16 2096 1

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
1997 125cc Honda MAL JPN SPA ITA AUT FRA NED IMO GER BRA GBR CZE
17
CAT IND AUS NC 0
1998 125cc Honda JPN
10
MAL
Ret
SPA
10
ITA
2
FRA
2
MAD
2
NED
1
GBR
4
GER
13
CZE
1
IMO
2
CAT
8
AUS
3
ARG
2
3rd 202
1999 125cc Honda MAL JPN SPA
Ret
FRA
6
ITA
2
CAT
3
NED
8
GBR
5
GER
1
CZE
1
IMO
1
VAL
Ret
AUS
1
RSA
3
BRA
2
ARG
1
2nd 226
2000 250cc Aprilia RSA
13
MAL
5
JPN
5
SPA
6
FRA
4
ITA
4
CAT
6
NED
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
CZE
4
POR
3
VAL
3
BRA
3
PAC
3
AUS
5
5th 159
2001 250cc Aprilia JPN
6
RSA
2
SPA
3
FRA
3
ITA
3
CAT
Ret
NED
6
GBR
3
GER
1
CZE
2
POR
2
VAL
Ret
PAC
Ret
AUS MAL
11
BRA
2
3rd 194
2002 250cc Aprilia JPN
Ret
RSA
1
SPA
Ret
FRA
2
ITA
1
CAT
1
NED
1
GBR
1
GER
1
CZE
1
POR
2
BRA
4
PAC
2
MAL
Ret
AUS
1
VAL
1
1st 298
2003 MotoGP Yamaha JPN
Ret
RSA
Ret
SPA
Ret
FRA
15
ITA
11
CAT
13
NED
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
CZE
10
POR
7
BRA
11
PAC
5
MAL
11
AUS
Ret
VAL
Ret
15th 45
2004 MotoGP Yamaha RSA
11
SPA
Ret
FRA
6
ITA
9
CAT
3
NED
3
BRA
13
GER
Ret
GBR CZE
9
POR
Ret
JPN
5
QAT
Ret
MAL
Ret
AUS
Ret
VAL
Ret
12th 75
2005 MotoGP Honda SPA
3
POR
4
CHN
3
FRA
4
ITA
4
CAT
3
NED
2
USA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
7
CZE
6
JPN
Ret
MAL
5
QAT
2
AUS
4
TUR
1
VAL
1
2nd 220
2006 MotoGP Honda SPA
5
QAT
7
TUR
1
CHN
7
FRA
1
ITA
6
CAT
Ret
NED
7
GBR
3
GER
2
USA
3
CZE
5
MAL
9
AUS
1
JPN
3
POR
8
VAL
5
4th 228
2007 MotoGP Honda QAT
5
SPA
8
CHN
5
TUR
5
FRA
2
ITA
9
CAT
9
GBR
10
NED
10
GER
6
USA
3
CZE RSM
4
POR
5
JPN
5
AUS
10
MAL
2
VAL
4
5th 187
2008 MotoGP Ducati QAT
11
SPA
12
POR
13
CHN
5
FRA
15
ITA
Ret
CAT
11
GBR
16
NED
13
GER
Ret
USA
16
CZE
7
SMR
9
IND
19
JPN
13
AUS
16
MAL
16
VAL
16
17th 51
2009 MotoGP Kawasaki QAT
14
JPN
6
SPA
5
FRA
2
ITA
11
CAT
14
NED
12
USA
10
GER
7
GBR
7
CZE
Ret
IND
Ret
SMR
8
POR
12
AUS
7
MAL
8
VAL
17
10th 108
2010 MotoGP Honda QAT
13
SPA
8
FRA
6
ITA
5
GBR
Ret
NED
DNS
CAT
9
GER
10
USA
8
CZE
8
IND
Ret
SMR
10
ARA
9
JPN
11
MAL
9
AUS
9
POR
9
VAL
13
10th 103

Superbike World Championship[edit]

By season[edit]

Seas Moto Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2011 Yamaha YZF-R1 Yamaha World Superbike Team 26 4 15 1 3 395 2nd
2012 BMW S1000RR BMW Motorrad Motorsport 25 6 11 0 4 328.5 3rd
Total 51 10 26 1 7 723.5

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2011 Yamaha AUS
5
AUS
3
EUR
1
EUR
2
NED
4
NED
Ret
ITA
4
ITA
2
USA
10
USA
6
SMR
3
SMR
Ret
SPA
1
SPA
2
CZE
1
CZE
2
GBR
3
GBR
3
GER
2
GER
6
ITA
8
ITA
6
FRA
2
FRA
2
POR
6
POR
1
2nd 395
2012 BMW AUS
2
AUS
6
ITA
6
ITA
10
NED
9
NED
4
ITA
C
ITA
4
EUR
1
EUR
Ret
USA
2
USA
1
SMR
Ret
SMR
4
SPA
2
SPA
1
CZE
1
CZE
1
GBR
7
GBR
8
RUS
2
RUS
1
GER
Ret
GER
Ret
POR
Ret
POR
DNS
FRA
2
FRA
Ret
3rd 328.5
2013 BMW AUS
Ret
AUS
3
SPA
3
SPA
5
NED
Ret
NED
8
ITA
1
ITA
2
GBR
2
GBR
5
POR
1
POR
12
ITA
4
ITA
4
RUS
1
RUS
C
GBR
9
GBR
9
GER
2
GER
3
TUR
2
TUR
4
USA
4
USA
3
FRA
5
FRA
7
SPA
2
SPA
DNS
4th 359
2014 Aprilia AUS
2
AUS
8
SPA
11
SPA
3
NED
6
NED
6
ITA
6
ITA
11
GBR
4
GBR
17
MAL
1
MAL
1
SMR
3
SMR
3
POR
4
POR
Ret
USA
1
USA
Ret
SPA
1
SPA
1
FRA
FRA
RSA
RSA
QAT
QAT
4th* 267*
  • * Season in progress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melandri claims Kawasaki move for 2009". motogp.com (Dorna Sports). 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  2. ^ Henry, Alan (2009-01-06). "Melandri without a team as Kawasaki leave MotoGP". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  3. ^ Ryder, Joy (2009-03-11). "Marco Melandri On Hayate Kawasaki For 2009". Buzzin MotoGP (Buzzin' Fly Limited). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  4. ^ Birt, Matthew (2009-12-28). "Marco Melandri looking for stable future". Motorcycle News (Bauer Media Group). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  5. ^ "Mika Kallio Taking out Marco Melandri". asphaltandrubber.com (Asphalt & Rubber). 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  6. ^ Birt, Matthew (2010-02-11). "Marco Melandri happy with new Honda policy". Motorcycle News (Bauer Media Group). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  7. ^ Jones, Scott (2009-07-04). "Marco Melandri Interview – "My Goal Is A Good Bike For 2010"". motomatters.com (MotoMatters). Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  8. ^ "Melandri: I got it wrong on 2010 debut". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  9. ^ "Yamaha Sterilgarda confirms Marco Melandri for 2011". Superbike World Championship (Infront Motor Sports). 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  10. ^ "Melandri lines up alongside Haslam for BMW in 2012". Superbike World Championship (Infront Motor Sports). 2 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "Melandri marks BMW debut with best S1000RR result". Crash.net (Crash Media Group). 26 February 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Melandri leads BMW 1–2 at Donington". Crash.net (Crash Media Group). 13 May 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Melandri: I am living my dream!". Crash.net (Crash Media Group). 23 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Daijiro Kato
250cc Motorcycle World Champion
2002
Succeeded by
Manuel Poggiali