Marco Melandri to Yamaha World SBK

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2011 World SBK

The Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team has signed an agreement with Italian MotoGP rider Marco Melandri to join the World Superbike Championship for the 2011 race season.

The 28-year-old Melandri will replace current Yamaha Superbike rider Cal Crutchlow who stays within the Yamaha family, moving to MotoGP to replace Ben Spies on The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 bike.

Ben Spies moves to the Factory Fiat Yamaha team to ride the vacant M1 motorcycle developed by Valentino Rossi, who will be riding the Ducati GP11 next MotoGP racing season.

Melandri is a former 250cc GP World Champion and has finished as highly as 2nd in the MotoGP Championship with five MotoGP motorcycle race victories to date in his career and a further 10 250cc GP victories.

Marco Melandri says: “I’m very happy with this new challenge, it’s a big change and I want to fight for world superbike wins. It’s nice to be back with Yamaha; I know many people there; I was very young when I rode with them before, now I’m much more mature.”

“As the reigning 2009 champions The Yamaha Sterilgarda Team have proved to have a very competitive package and are one of the top teams in World Superbike. I realize Superbike is not easy and I know I have to work hard. I’m looking forward to feeling the adrenalin again and fighting for the championship.”

Laurens Klein Koerkamp says: “Marco is a great signing for the World Superbike Team. He has massive experience at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing and is extremely motivated to have the opportunity to challenge for race wins again.”

“While it is sad to see Cal leave us to move on up in the Yamaha family we are excited to have a serious title contender such as Marco joining us,” said Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager.

Marco Melandri will part ways with Team San Carlo Honda Gresini at the end of the 2010 MotoGP racing season.

Team San Carlo Honda Gresini has thanked Marco Melandri and wish him the very best on his new World SBK venture.