Marco Melandri has spent most of his career in the MotoGP, but this year he'll be venturing out into the World Superbike series. Melandri has ridden with just about every major manufacturer throughout his 15 + year career, and in 2011, he'll hop back on a Yamaha to try to win the 2011 World Superbike series.
Marco Melandri hasn't hit 30-years-old yet, but he's still one of the most experienced riders on the World Superbike grid. Melandri started racing at the age of 6, and was soon aiming for national titles. Melandri won his first national title, the 125cc Italian Championship, in 1997 when he was 14. He also had an impressive 4th place finish in the European championship that same year.
Melandri was soon ready for the World circuit, and in 1998 he became the youngest rider to win a GP race. Melandri's record has since been broken, but that doesn't take away from his impressive GP debut. Melandri finished on the podium during his first year of racing in the 125cc class. He followed that up with a second place finish before moving up to the 250cc class, where he claimed the World title in 2002.
The championship victory earned him a spot in the MotoGP, where he rode a Yamaha for the first two years of his career. Marco Melandri couldn't find the top ten during his first two years in the MotoGP, but a switch to Honda in 2005 gave him the speed he needed. Melandri finished second to Valentino Rossi that year, his best result to date.
Melandri left Honda in 2007, and struggled to find a winning combination in subsequent years with Ducati, Kawasaki, and then Honda again.
Marco Melandri left the MotoGP after two consecutive 10th place finishes, but he has high hopes for the 2011 World Superbike season.
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