Marco Melandri has split from Aprilia ahead of this weekend's German MotoGP at Sachsenring, where he will be replaced by test rider Michael Laverty.

Long rumoured, the first concrete signs of Melandri's departure began to leak out earlier today and his exit has now been confirmed by Aprilia:

"Aprilia Racing and Marco Melandri have reached an agreement by mutual consent to terminate the contractual obligations between Marco Melandri and Aprilia Racing.

"Consequently, Marco Melandri will no longer be lined up on the grid with Aprilia Racing starting from the German Grand Prix on 12 July.

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"Aprilia Racing wishes Marco Melandri all the best in his future endeavors."

After four-years fighting at the front in World Superbike, Melandri was reluctantly persuaded back to MotoGP by Aprilia's factory grand prix return.

But the 2005 title runner-up has failed to score a point in the eight races to date - compared with eleven points for team-mate Alvaro Bautista, who also finished tenth in Catalunya.

32-year-old Melandri, who complained of a lack of feel and called for chassis stiffness changes, has also qualified in last place (meaning behind Alex de Angelis on the 2014 ART bike) at all but one event this year.

Melandri's exit thus comes as little surprise given his performances and barely concealed misery. He has been linked with a place in Yamaha's 2016 factory WSBK return since round two in Austin.

Michael Laverty raced for PBM in MotoGP during 2013 and 2014 before returning to BSB this season, where he is a seven-time race winner. Laverty is currently seventh in this year's standings, having been denied his first S1000RR podium by a yellow flag incident at Knockhill on Sunday.

Alongside his BSB duties for Tyco BMW, Laverty has continued to build grand prix experience as an official Aprilia test rider, impressing factory boss Romano Albesiano with his feedback during development of items such as the seamless-shift gearbox and pneumatic-valve engine, introduced for the RS-GP this year.

"A warm welcome to Laverty: with Michael working alongside Bautista we will continue development efforts on our bike directly in the races," Albesiano said. "Michael has worked a lot in recent months. With his indications after his first race we'll be able to streamline development, especially in terms of the chassis, where right now we are the most limited."

It not presently clear if Laverty will ride for the rest of the year or just this weekend, but there is only one clash between the remaining BSB and MotoGP rounds; the BSB finale at Brands Hatch taking place on the same October 16-18 weekend as the Australian MotoGP.

Michael's MotoGP return means he will be racing alongside younger brother Eugene, who is spending his rookie premier-class season with Aspar.

Melandri's only comment so far has been the following tweet:

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Jiri Simek: I hope Yamaha finds someone even better for their return to WSBK. Remember, Marco has already had a few chances on the title shot, but never got it right. He was on factory Yamaha, BMW, Aprilia and never won the title. So I hope they simply give the ride to somebody else, who deserves it more. [\blockquote]

Totally agreed.
I'd just love to see Alex Lowes on a competitive bike for a change.

@Garry

After the fisticuffs with Valentino Rossi and Max his uncle beating someone of Rossi's crew up, his uncle got banned from the MotoGP paddock and after Biaggi's exit in MotoGP he's no longer welcome as a rider. Biaggi might be good as a rider, but his ego on the track in 250's and 500's was/is horrible. There aren't enough Snickers candybars in the world to stop Max being a right diva.

DBL: It's the Elias effect, doesn't like the bike, so doesn't want to ride it, doesn't want to sort the problem and doesn't want to change his riding style. With Elias it was always the tyres and with Melandri it's the 2nd time he's sulked at the back in MotoGP whilst being outperformed by his team mate.[\blockquote]

It were the tyres, Elias 2006 win at Estoril came after a certain Honda rider rejected the "A" choice tyre and Elias got them instead of the regular "B" choice.

rdc:
RealDrWho: Since Mugello the lawyers of Aprilia and Melandri were in talks for an exit on mutual agreement. What surprises me the most is that it needed such a long talk to get an agreement. Marco's exit was already planned after the Barcelona GP and he would be substituted at Assen. It have taken a while, but it's good for Marco and for Aprilia. Looking forward seeing "Macio" back in WSBK on hopefully a competitive Yamaha. [\blockquote]

From what I have read, it all came down to money, with Melandri wanting all 1 million euros of his contract to leave. [\blockquote]

True, and with half the season done and forcing someone to riding a bike one million is not enough to compensate for the damage of Marco's image. Aprilia played dirty games in the first place, so I hope Marco enjoys his short well deserved holiday and I hope he comes back next year to get some wins on the R1.

Since Mugello the lawyers of Aprilia and Melandri were in talks for an exit on mutual agreement. What surprises me the most is that it needed such a long talk to get an agreement. Marco's exit was already planned after the Barcelona GP and he would be substituted at Assen. It have taken a while, but it's good for Marco and for Aprilia. Looking forward seeing "Macio" back in WSBK on hopefully a competitive Yamaha.

grantrd: I think he will be with Yamaha next year in WSBK.........
Watching Josh Brookes on the new R1 in BSB shows the bike is very fast and I think it will be a front running bike next year from the beginning..........[\blockquote]

Euhm there were some major critics from a certain Dunlop during the TT, and besides the critics of him he also split the Yamaha squad instantly and made a switch to BMW in the same weekend. On the other hand Cameron Beaubier is doing pretty well in the AMA class on the new R1.

MotoMarc: Realist good points. But I'm sure they could find someone else. I know that his past experience with Yamaha, knowledge of tracks and decent success in WSB will make him a top contender. But his attitude and wild tactics are suspect. I would really like to see Hayes from MotoAmerica get a shot but his age and lack of WSB track experience would eliminate him from consideration. Someone mentioned Hayes teammate which could be a #2 seat.

Regardless of who are the team riders next year they'll have competitive bikes. And as it's been all green for WSB they need more competition to make it interesting again.

Wierd how WSB was more interesting for quite awhile compared to Motogp but seems like the pendulum has swung back to GPs. [\blockquote]

That's because Dorna took over WSBK

Realist:
RealDrWho:
grantrd: I think he will be with Yamaha next year in WSBK.........
Watching Josh Brookes on the new R1 in BSB shows the bike is very fast and I think it will be a front running bike next year from the beginning..........[\blockquote]

Euhm there were some major critics from a certain Dunlop during the TT, and besides the critics of him he also split the Yamaha squad instantly and made a switch to BMW in the same weekend. On the other hand Cameron Beaubier is doing pretty well in the AMA class on the new R1. [\blockquote]

He split from Yamaha as did Laverty because Yamaha nixed their factory effort in WSBK. It was either move to BMW or have no ride.[\blockquote]

Euhm I'm talking about the 2015 R1 and one of the Dunlop boys during the Isle of Man this year.

Realist:
MotoMarc: Felt bad when Melandri was at Ducati in MGP and they were sending him to see as psychiatrist blaming him for the faults of that POS. But when he acted like a baby in WSB I lost respect and his showing now with Aprilia in MGP reinforces that feeling for him. Sad to hear that Yamaha is considering him for the R1 return to supers next year. Many other riders should be considered before him. I'd rather see someone like Hayden get a shot in WSB on the R1 but his association with Honda may limit that. He should realize that his Motogp days are at an end. [\blockquote]

Hayden doesn't want to go to WSB. The last few seasons he has been offered opportunities with good bikes and turned them down (this began even before he left Ducati). It's GP or bust for Hayden. Melandri did really well on the Yamaha and the BMW, that is why Yamaha are welcoming him back.[\blockquote]

True that and besides that Dorna want an American in MotoGP, as Hayden brings in