In a serene atmosphere and alongside his historic friend and work partner Alberto Vergani of the Nolan Group, Marco says he feels the time has come to say goodbye to the world of competitions. A decision that has been underway for some time, which had a key moment especially during the GP of Thailand and that gradually became more consistent and aware.
“I dreamed of being a driver and I was lucky enough to do it at a high level; I lived a fairy tale and as in all fairy tales there is a beginning, but there is also an end. The desire to persist in moving forward at all costs, look for something that you know very well that will not come true has meant that the flame is lowered”.
Marco, talking about the people who have accompanied and supported him in all these years of activity, starting from his parents to the many team managers and professionals in the field, thanks and is moved, but looks to the future with serenity. In his plans there is the desire to live fully his family, his five-year-old daughter and his passions that are still linked to the world of motorcycles, sport made for fun and pure engines.
After a career of over twenty years that has seen him compete as a protagonist in the world circle by winning in 2002 the world title in the 250 class, at only 20 years of age. An important milestone that allowed him to enter the 500 class in 2003 riding the official Yamaha YZR-M1. In the following years Melandri experienced the transition from the 500 two-stroke to the 1000 four-stroke, then passed to the 800 displacement and then again to the 1000.
Many seasons in which he alternates teams, motorcycles and teammates fighting with the most illustrious names of the MotoGP of the time such as Rossi, Biaggi, Stoner and Capirossi. Marco, however, lacks the big blow, the world title of the queen class will not come and marks his best result at the end of the 2005 season when, riding the Honda RC211V Team Movistar Fausto Gresini, closes the championship in second place behind Valentino Rossi.
He will remain in this class until the end of 2010 when he faces a new challenge and announces for the 2011 season the transition to World Superbike riding the official Yamaha R1. He immediately made a good debut as he fed some tasty battles with Max Biaggi and other “specialists” such as Carlos Checa, Jonathan Rea, Tom Sykes so much so that he will close his first season in WSBK as vice-champion behind Checa. In 2012 and 2013 he is riding the BMW S1000 RR, but a few too many mistakes and injuries will prevent him from winning the title relegating him to third and fourth place respectively.
Then, again in the WSBK, Melandri changes his jacket and faces the 2014 season on the Aprilia RSV4, a passage that, net of the season’s results, will allow the rider from Ravenna to return to MotoGP for the following year, again on Aprilia and with the aim of developing the Italian bike.
In reality, this project opens a darkened parenthesis in the career of the rider who appears unwilling to “digest” this role that in fact forces him in the rear when in SBK instead feels he has a role as a pretender to the title, so much so that the divorce seems inevitable and Melandri is forced to live a year off before resuming his career in the Superbike championship from 2017, first with Ducati and now on Yamaha, but this is now recent history.