Marco Melandri has won 22 races in his WorldSBK career, and two in 2018. The 36-year-old works Ducati rider was second fastest on Friday at the all-new track in Argentina, showing all his skill and experience.
But in 2019, he is facing the distinct prospect of enforced retirement – for the second time after his failed attempt to make an outgunned MotoGP competitive a few years ago.
On Friday in Argentina, Melandri made his immediate prospects clear. “At the moment it is like that – I have nothing. I have nothing in my hand. I do not see many good bikes around anymore. Only a few seats can be good, but I did not get any information from anyone. I have no news.”
He illustrated the difference between his ‘first’ retirement and what may be soon his second too. “At that time I chose to quit with Aprilia because I did not have fun and I did not believe in what I was doing,” said Melandri. “I knew it was difficult to come back (in WorldSBK), and I was glad to get the opportunity to come back. I am feeling OK but I wasted so many races this year for strange problems, and I would like to keep going because I am feeling good. But if I have to be a number – I don’t care. I want to race if I can be strong.”
Melandri is not holding any immediate options, explaining that, “For sure I think there is one Honda, and maybe Sykes is going to be Honda, I think. I do not know about the other manufacturers, if BMW comes back, I do not know. If I have to race just for racing, I will go to race motocross for fun, with friends. Unless I get a good bike and good team, I find something in my life. British Superbike I think is very high level but it is too dangerous for me. I am too old for their tracks. America I would like, yes, for sure. I have had some contact there but until I have something on the paper, I do not believe.”