Melandri's future 'in Dorna's hands'
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Sunday, January 4th 2009, 10:33 GMT|
Marco Melandri's manager Alberto Vergani says he is relying on MotoGP promoter Dorna to find the Italian a 2009 ride after Kawasaki's decision to withdraw.
Kawasaki is set to officially confirm its pull-out tomorrow, leaving riders Melandri and John Hopkins in limbo.
There are no other vacant seats on the 2009 grid, but Dorna is in discussions with the Aspar team with a view to the leading 125cc and 250cc squad taking on the former factory Kawasakis.
Vergani said Melandri's future was now in Dorna's hands, and suggested it was the championship organiser's duty to ensure that the race-winning Italian remained in the series.
"We can't do anything but wait," Vergani told Corriere dello Sport. "Either someone calls us and tells us that there's a bike for us, or we can't race.
"But if you think that (Dani) Pedrosa has won six Grands Prix in his career and Marco five, then it's obvious that MotoGP can't do without someone like Melandri.
"However, if Dorna is not interested in having strong riders taking part in the races, then it's another matter. Now it's up to Dorna to make a move."
Melandri finished second to Valentino Rossi in the 2005 championship and was a regular front-runner with Gresini Honda, but had a disastrous 2008 season with Ducati and was hoping to rebuild his career at Kawasaki.
His potential 2009 teammate John Hopkins is also waiting for his manager to resolve his future.
"Everything is up in the air and people want answers," Hopkins wrote on his personal website. "Everything from here is now in my manager's hands. There will be an official press release very soon, where we can confirm or deny all rumours."