WSB: Melandri to remain with Ducati for 2018
Marco Melandri will remain with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team alongside Chaz Davies for the 2018 Superbike World Championship.
The Italian made a surprise return to racing with the Bologna factory this year after 18 months out following his dismal foray back into Grand Prix racing with Aprilia.
With many expecting Melandri to be off the pace after so long away, the former 250cc Grand Prix champion has impressed this year with consistent pace and a race win in front of home crowds at Misano.
A reliable wing man to Ducati’s championship challenger Davies, Melandri sits fourth in the title chase after seven visits to the WorldSBK podium this year.
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“I’m really happy for the opportunity to prolong this professional collaboration, which represented a new beginning in my career as a rider,” he 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.”