Gresini Honda has announced that Marco Melandri will leave the team at the end of 2010, with the Italian expected to switch to World Superbikes.
Melandri achieved all five of his MotoGP wins and his career-best second place in the 2005 championship with Gresini, which he initially rode for from 2005 to 2007. He then left for Ducati, but had a disastrous season, and then suffered the added blow of the works Kawasaki team withdrawing from MotoGP just after he had signed a 2009 deal with it.
Following an underdog year on the private Hayate Kawasaki, Melandri returned to the Gresini fold this season. He is currently 10th in the championship but has been unable to return the team to the podium so far. The 28-year-old is now expected to move to Superbikes, having been linked with both BMW and Yamaha.
Current factory Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso is tipped to take Melandri's vacant seat at Gresini as part of the reshuffle prompted by Casey Stoner's move from Ducati to Honda.