Marco Melandri will make his return to World Superbikes in 2017 after signing for Aruba.it Racing – Ducati. The 34 year old hasn’t raced in WorldSBK since switching to Aprilia’s MotoGP squad at the start of 2015 and after that ill-fated spell was cut short, the Italian has been sitting on the sidelines ever since.
But the 19-time race winner will return next season in place of Davide Giugliano and is delighted to be joining such a competitive outfit on his championship comeback.
“I’m really excited to come back to racing, it’s a dream come true. I always said I was only interested in a top bike and top team, and I could not have asked for more. I kept following WorldSBK closely, and I’m confident the Panigale R can perfectly suit my riding style. We’ll just have to take one step at a time, but the potential is surely high. I know it won’t be easy to get back up to speed, but I have all the time to step on the bike, do laps and make sure I’m ready for the first test: to this end, I will skip the holidays to train on a street version of the Panigale R.”
Chaz Davies has extended his three-year stay with the team which has already brought nine victories and the Welshman is targeting further success aboard the Panigale R.
“I’m extremely happy to renew my professional relationship with Ducati for two more seasons. The continuity element is really important in our job, and so far we’ve made great strides and got progressively closer to our goal. Now we can fight for the win practically on every track, and I’m confident we can make further improvements. Moreover, to race for Ducati is something special: everything is done with heart and passion, you really feel part of a family and have a direct connection between the production and racing. It’s going to be exciting.”