From twenty below to ninety above in four months time.
Since winning the 250 world championship in 2002, Melandri’s career has plummeted and rebounded like a Midwest thermometer.
Melandri quit the Gresini Aprilia team this year after mounting problems, and the motorcycle not being anything close to competitive. Presumably, and understandably, for a rider like Melandri who has won MotoGP races in the past–he won back to back races in 2005 on the Gresini Honda V5–trolling around in the back waiting for the 2016 machine didn’t look like it suited him very well.
Italian sources suggest that Ducati may enter Melandri in WSBK races this season either on the factory team or with Althea.
Ducati WSBK rider Davide Giugliano crashed in the second WSBK race at Laguna Seca in late July and re-broke his back. He is out for an indefinite amount of time. Ducati test rider (and part time police officer) Michele Pirro is slated to replace Giugliano at Sepang, where it is rumored Melandri will appear in Althea colors.
Melandri has ridden at least eight GP bikes in the three Grand Prix classes and if he returns to WSBK on a Ducati this will be his fourth different mount in that series.