After 13 seasons in grand prix racing, the last eight in MotoGP, Marco Melandri is almost certain to move to the World Superbike Championship, with BMW, in 2011.
That's the opinion of Italian website GPOne.com
, which quotes BMW team manager Davide Tardozzi as saying:
"We don't have the signature, and that is the most important part, but I received a very positive impression from Melandri. We never talked about money, only about how competitive we would be. Marco wants to win and show that he is still a top rider, and I think this is the right philosophy for Superbike."
Five time MotoGP race winner Melandri, the 2005 World Championship runner-up, would take the place of Ruben Xaus and ride alongside former double WSBK champion Troy Corser.
Corser has taken the impressive S1000RR to its first pole and podiums (two third places) this season.
Melandri, 28, is ninth in the 2010 MotoGP standings, after ten rounds, with a best race finish of fifth.
The Italian is one place and 14 points behind top satellite RCV rider Randy de Puniet. Melandri's last top three finish was for Hayate at Le Mans 2009.
Should Melandri indeed leave San Carlo Honda Gresini at the end of the year, his place could be taken by factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, who could be pushed out of the Repsol team by Casey Stoner's arrival unless backing for a third bike can be found.