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Melandri in talks with Kawasaki and Gresini for 2009

Melandri in talks with Kawasaki and Gresini for 2009

Marco Melandri will not ride for Ducati Marlboro next season and is in discussions with Kawasaki and his former team San Carlo Honda Gresini about a 2009 ride.

Speaking to in the Sachsenring paddock at the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland Marco Melandri´s manager Alberto Vergani has confirmed, as widely anticipated, that the Italian rider will not stay with Ducati Marlboro beyond the 2008 season and is already in talks with other teams about his future.

The former World Championship runner-up and 250cc World Champion has endured a highly frustrating campaign to date, failing to adapt to the factory Desmosedici GP8, accumulating just 32 points and managing just one top ten finish in the opening nine races, following his winter ´07-08 move to Ducati.

Melandri´s contract with the team for 2009 has been annulled by mutual consent, meaning the rider is free to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Despite numerous rumours that the 25 year-old could be replaced mid-season due to his poor performances – and the reappearance of former rider Sete Gibernau in private tests with Ducati – Melandri´s agent and manager Vergani insists he is determined to see out the season with his current employees.

`We have broken the contract for the ´09 season and now we are looking at the possibilities for the future,´ Vergani stated. `From Marco´s side I know he wants to finish the current season as well as possible. If Ducati wants to stop Marco´s season it is a question for Ducati, not for Marco.´

Vergani also confirmed that Melandri is considering a return to the Honda Gresini set-up which he left at the end of last season and has also talked to Kawasaki who offered him a ride at Sachsenring and Laguna Seca as a replacement for the injured John Hopkins.

`At the moment we are talking with Gresini to go back to Fausto´s team and to Kawasaki, because they were already offering Hopkins´ bike to Marco for these two races. So these are the two real options,´ Vergani said.

MotoGP, 2008, ALICE MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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