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Melandri ‘in talks with Kawasaki, Aprilia for 2014’

Marco Melandri confirms he is considering his options for the 2014 World Superbike Championship, revealing he is in talks to switch from BMW to either Aprilia or Kawasaki.
Marco Melandri has revealed he in talks over a possible move to Aprilia or Kawasaki for the 2014 World Superbike Championship after suggesting BMW have taken a step back in competitiveness this season.

Entering his second term with BMW in 2013, Melandri was considered the pre-season title favourite after winning six races last year, but while he has since added two more victories to his tally during his current campaign, a lack of consistency has seen him drift 53 points off leader Tom Sykes after seven rounds.

Claiming the 2013 developments on the S1000RR have had a negative effect on the bike's progress, a seemingly impatient Melandri says he is considering a change for next season and is setting his sights on current front runners Aprilia and Kawasaki.

“The 2013 developments on the bike aren't working and we've gone backwards, while Kawasaki has made a big leap forward,” he told Gazetta dello Sport. “I'm currently in talks with Kawasaki and Aprilia [for 2014].”

Melandri made his WSBK debut with Yamaha in 2011, finishing runner-up in his maiden season as a Superbike rider with four race wins before moving to BMW for 2012 when Yamaha announced its withdrawal from the series.

The former 250GP World Champion was in contention for the 2012 WSBK title last season after a mid-season flurry of wins briefly nosed him ahead of Max Biaggi with three rounds remaining. A poor end to the year, however, would leave him third overall.

Should Melandri make a successful move to Kawasaki or Aprilia, it remains to be seen where he would fit into their current line-ups.

As it stands, Aprilia has no contract beyond this year for either Eugene Laverty or Sylvain Guintoli, though both are riding high in the overall standings with five wins between them.

Kawasaki, meanwhile, has signed Loris Baz on a single-year contract, while its title-challenging lead rider Tom Sykes has signalled a desire to stay with the manufacturer if he isn't lured by a competitive MotoGP package. However, with new regulations set to swell the WSBK grid for 2014, Kawasaki has suggested it will be expanding its World Superbike operation next season.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, Russian WSBK 2013
Melandri, Russian WSBK 2013
Melandri, Russian WSBK 2013
Melandri, Russian WSBK 2013
Melandri, Imola WSBK 2013
Baz, Race 2, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Baz, Race 2, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Melandri, Race 2, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Melandri, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Melandri, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Baz, Race 2, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Laverty, Race 2, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Tom Sykes - Kawasaki Racing
Laverty, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Laverty, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Laverty, U.S. WSBK 2014.

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Fullofit

July 20, 2013 1:12 PM

@ Herewego Read the story & not just the headlines. Asking questions that are already covered just makes you look silly. BMW have themselves to blame for this seasons results though. They had a team that developed nicely over a few seasons into real title contenders ... & just when they were on the brink of a championship, the factory pulled the carpet out from underneath them & awarded the contract to a team that wasn't at the same level yet. In a year or two BMW Italia may be contenders, but the blame for this lies squarely with BMW Motorad,

herewego

July 20, 2013 12:22 PM

If he goes to Aprillia, who will be leaving? Both Eugene Laverty and Syvan Guintolli are at the top! Kawasaki will have to get rid of Loris Baz who is doing fine apart from a couple of falls which can happen to anybody. Interesting this as it will also leave a gap at B.M.W. for someone - maybe Nicky Hayden will fill it! Bit of a scalping there Marco!!



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