Marco Melandri has revealed he turned down the opportunity to return to the World Superbike Championship at Misano with Yamaha this weekend, but says he will make himself available for the manufacturer at Laguna Seca.
The PATA Crescent Yamaha team had been seeking out a substitute for the Sylvain Guintoli – still injured after an accident at the Imola round – and seemingly approached former Yamaha WSBK rider Melandri in the hope of tempting him back.
However, the former MotoGP rider, who made his WSBK debut with Yamaha in 2011, reveals he turned the offer down as he didn't want to jump on the R1 without prior opportunity to sample the machine before the race weekend.
With PATA Crescent calling up its Superstock 1000 rider Niccolo Canepa to partner Alex Lowes instead, Melandri says he will make himself available for the next event at Laguna Seca if Guintoli is unfit.
A former MotoGP runner-up, Melandri notched up 19 wins in World Superbikes between 2011 and 2014 during stints with Yamaha, BMW and Aprilia, but has been without a full-time ride since an ill-fated return to MotoGP with Aprilia lasted just eight races into the 2015 season.