Marco Melandri has signed a new one-year contract with Aruba.it Racing Ducati and will once again partner Chaz Davies for the 2018 World Superbike championship.
Melandri became part of the factory Ducati line-up at the start of the season, securing one race win along with six additional podium finishes to lie fourth in the riders' championship.
That's an impressive return for the 35-year-old, and Ducati have rewarded him with another one-year deal for 2018.
— Aruba.it Racing (@ArubaRacing) August 16, 2017
“I’m really happy for the opportunity to prolong this professional collaboration, which represented a new beginning in my career as a rider,” Melandri said. “Together with Ducati and Aruba.it, we enjoyed some really memorable moments, while in other occasions I think my long break from racing affected our performance, so I’m sure there’s still plenty of room to improve. To this end, continuing with the same team and the same bike represents the best possible opportunity to achieve higher goals.
“I’m ready to tackle a new season with more experience and confidence, and it’s a challenge that makes me incredibly happy. First of all, however, we need to finish the current championship as strongly as possible. With five rounds to go, we’ll always give our 100 percent and assess our performance in the end.”
Ducati Corse general manager Luigi Dall’Igna added: “We’re really happy to consolidate our efforts in the WorldSBK Championship based on continuity, both in terms of the technical package and the riders’ roster,” Dall’Igna said. “One year ago, Marco started a new adventure with great enthusiasm, showing his talent since the very first outing with the Panigale R despite coming back from a long absence. His qualities are quite obvious, as shown by the results achieved thus far this year.
“That said, we believe we can reach even more ambitious goals together. With Melandri and Davies, our target is obviously the championship title, both in the Riders and Constructors standings.”