Formula E
14 Feb
-
15 Feb
Event finished
27 Feb
-
29 Feb
FP2 in
01 Hours
:
05 Minutes
:
45 Seconds
Formula 1 MotoGP
05 Mar
-
08 Mar
FP1 in
6 days
R
Thailand GP
19 Mar
-
22 Mar
FP1 in
19 days
NASCAR Cup
21 Feb
-
23 Feb
Event finished
28 Feb
-
01 Mar
Qualifying in
12 Hours
:
40 Minutes
:
45 Seconds
IndyCar
13 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
12 days
R
Birmingham
03 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
33 days
WEC
22 Feb
-
23 Feb
Event finished
18 Mar
-
20 Mar
Next event in
17 days

Aprilia should have stayed in WSBK - Melandri

shares
comments
Aprilia should have stayed in WSBK - Melandri
By:
Co-author: Sebastian Fränzschky
Dec 24, 2019, 10:10 AM

Aprilia should have stayed in World Superbike instead of trying to tackle MotoGP, claims the Italian marque's former rider Marco Melandri.

After scoring two titles with Max Biaggi in 2010 and '12 and a further success in 2014 with Sylvain Guintoli, Aprilia gave up its works effort in the production-based championship in order to join MotoGP in an alliance with Gresini Racing.

Since then, it has never finished a race higher than sixth, and has been beaten by KTM to fifth place in the manufacturers' standings in each of the past three seasons.

In the meantime Kawasaki has dominated WSBK, with the Japanese manufacturer's lead rider Jonathan Rea having scored five titles in a row, while Aprilia has only been represented by customer teams with limited factory backing.

Melandri, who was a factory Aprilia rider in 2014 and stayed with the Noale marque for its switch to grand prix racing, thinks staying in WSBK would have been a wiser move.

"I don't understand it, Aprilia should have stayed in World Superbike," Melandri told Motorsport.com. "They should have fought for titles in Superbike.

"That was the perfect series for Aprilia. But the owner of the company didn't want that."

Read Also:

One-time 250cc champion and five-time MotoGP race winner Melandri quit Aprilia just eight races into the 2015 season as he struggled aboard the underdeveloped RS-GP, which was based upon the RSV4 Superbike.

That led to a spell on the sidelines before the Italian returned to WSBK in 2017 as a works Ducati rider, before switching to GRT Yamaha this season and then opting to retire.

"It was very difficult back then," recalled Melandri of his ill-fated Aprilia MotoGP stint. "I signed a contract with Gigi Dall'Igna, but he switched to Ducati a little later. He was replaced by Romano Albesiano, who had no experience.

"I provided some information that helped Aprilia. But it's the worst-case scenario when an engineer has to take advice from a rider. I wasted six months.

"When things were going well [in WSBK in 2014] I had to switch to MotoGP, even though I saw no reason to do so.

"After a few races I stayed at home because the bike was very bad. The people had no experience and they couldn't spend money. It was no fun for me. You have to have fun to be able to give 100 percent for a project."

Marco Melandri

Marco Melandri

Photo by: James Holland

Next article
Motorsport.com's Top 20 motorcycle racers of 2019, Part 2

Previous article

Motorsport.com's Top 20 motorcycle racers of 2019, Part 2

Next article

Camier undergoes second operation in six months

Camier undergoes second operation in six months
Load comments

About this article

Series World Superbike
Drivers Marco Melandri
Teams Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Author Jamie Klein