Melandri Moves to Yamaha WSBK Team in 2011
“I'm very happy with this new challenge, it's a big change and I want to fight for world Superbike wins,” stated Melandri. “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.”
The Italian entered MotoGP in 2003 with a factory Yamaha ride, but he has switched to Tech 3 Yamaha for 2004, when Valentino Rossi arrived with the team. Melandri has joined Honda Gresini in 2005, to which he has returned in 2010, after competing for Hayate Kawasaki in 2009.
"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," Melandri continued. "I realise 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.”
Melandri will be replacing British rider Cal Cructhlow, who has just signed a two-year deal with the Tech 3 Yamaha team in MotoGP. It is yet unclear whether Melandri will have James Toseland as his team mate the next season, as the future of the former WSBK champion with the team rests under the question mark.