Marco Melandri's four points for finishing twelfth in Sunday's Portuguese Grand Prix were enough to exceed the Constructors' points total scored by the factory Kawasaki team during the whole of the 2008 season.

Kawasaki suddenly ended its official MotoGP presence during the winter, leaving an already signed Melandri to ride an unofficial, and unfancied, ZX-RR for the hurriedly formed Hayate team.

A superb start to the season saw Melandri finish in the top six at three of the first four races, culminating in second place at Le Mans, before briefly leading his home Italian Grand Prix next time out at Mugello.

Despite such results, Melandri's pleas for development apparently fell on deaf ears at Kawasaki and improvements for rival machines have contributed to the 27-year-old being left with a best finish of seventh in the ten rounds since Le Mans.

Nevertheless, Kawasaki's 91 Constructors' points are three more than they scored during the whole 18-round 2008 championship with John Hopkins and Anthony West. Constructors' points are awarded for the highest placed rider on each brand of bike, at each race.

Kawasaki's best ever tally of MotoGP Constructors' points is 144 in 2007, although a ratio of points-per-money spent would surely fall in favour of Melandri and Hayate.

Despite the obvious penalty of being a lone rider, the Hayate Racing Team is now just 21 points behind the Kawasaki Racing Team's total for the 2008 Teams' Championship, with three rounds and 75 points remaining.

After his early season heroics, Melandri held fifth in the world championship, but has now slipped back to ninth - although his 91 points are just six less than seventh placed Loris Capirossi.

Melandri scored just 51 points last season as a factory Ducati rider, when Kawasaki's highest placed rider was Hopkins, in 16th, with 57 points.

Melandri will return to Honda Gresini next season, with whom he took all five of his MotoGP race wins, while Hayate has posted an entry for the new Moto2 Championship.

Kawasaki will not supply ZX-RR motorcycles for any MotoGP team next year as it concentrates its efforts on the World Superbike Championship.

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