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July 27th, 2016, 05:04 AM   #1
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Marco Melandri to Aruba.it Ducati for 2017?

From Kropo...

Quote:
While the MotoGP grid is as good as settled, Silly Season for World Superbikes is in full swing. With the Kawasaki riders' contracts settled before the summer break, attention has turned to the other seats, most of which are up in the air. In addition, there could be some changes in machinery, with some teams eyeing a switch of manufacturers.

The biggest news still unofficial, but widely believed to be a done deal is that Marco Melandri is set to make a return to the World Superbike paddock, this time in the factory Aruba.it Ducati team alongside Chaz Davies.

Melandri has been angling for a ride ever since his departure from the factory Aprilia MotoGP squad, a move he had never wanted to make in the first place. Over the past twelve months or so, he has been linked to rides with Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW and Kawasaki in World Superbikes, and possibly the most bizarrely inaccurate rumor to be published in a while to a ride with BMW in MotoGP. (The fact that BMW have no intention of racing in MotoGP, and the break up with Melandri in 2013 so acrimonious that they would not have him back anyway is what made that particular rumor so entertaining.)

Melandri's return to the fold

In recent months, it was looking like Melandri would finally get his chance to return to WorldSBK, as he had a deal on the table with Puccetti Racing, who run Kawasaki's World Supersport effort, and were keen to expand into World Superbikes. Melandri would have made financing such an expansion much easier, as the Italian is still a big draw for sponsors.

It now looks like Melandri will be taking those sponsors (and more importantly, their money) to Ducati. According to German website Speedweek (link is external), the Italian has agreed terms with the factory Aruba.it Ducati squad. Melandri will ride alongside Chaz Davies in 2017 aboard the Panigale R. Melandri's signing meets the requirements of Ducati and their Italian sponsor Aruba.it for an Italian rider in the team, where he will replace Davide Giugliano. Giugliano is looking at options in Moto2, he told GPOne.com (link is external), though he has not discounted staying in the WorldSBK paddock.

The more interesting rumor is that Melandri will be riding for Ducati for free. Informed WorldSBK sources suggest that the Italian will be bringing money to the team as part of the deal for the ride. Ducati's World Superbike effort has come under pressure in recent months, especially since the signing of Jorge Lorenzo to the MotoGP team. Lorenzo's salary has placed a financial burden on Ducati which they are having to spread out through their entire racing program to absorb. Added to this, Ducati are having to offer Chaz Davies more money to stay, the Welshman currently carrying the weight of the Italian factory's WorldSBK challenge.

https://motomatters.com/analysis/201...on_update.html
I'm concerned a bit about the last bit with Lorenzo's salary putting a financial burden on Ducati. This is already having the makings of a total shit show.
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July 27th, 2016, 06:20 AM   #2
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When I heard that a few weeks back I said to myself .......WTF !!
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July 27th, 2016, 07:36 AM   #3
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Last time Melandri rode a Ducati he sucked, and isn't the Panigale based on the GP bike chassis wise?

The other question is, if Melandri goes to Ducati and Bradl is going to Honda, where does that leave VDM?
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July 27th, 2016, 07:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by #22 View Post
Last time Melandri rode a Ducati he sucked, and isn't the Panigale based on the GP bike chassis wise?

The other question is, if Melandri goes to Ducati and Bradl is going to Honda, where does that leave VDM?
Melandri brings sponsorship money and will ride for free which is why the deal would be attractive for Ducati. It also would allow Chaz Davies to remain the number one in the team since I don't see him losing out to Melandri over the whole season.

VDM is probably heading to Pata Yamaha.

It's rumored that while the 2017 Fireblade redesign is happening, the bike isn't going to be enough to compete with the ZX-10R. VDM is getting out as a result. Not sure who will get the boot there, but frankly I think both riders are underachieving on the R1. VDM might be the right guy for the team since he will push the bike to the limit. Still wish a GP team would give VDM a go. Too bad HRC had to keep the fucking midget for another two years.
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July 27th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #5
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Krop says it's Guinters who is getting the boot from Yam. I'm glad Ducati are giving another rider a chance, Gugliano has never calmed down. I remember some poster here a few years ago who swore he was the best rider on the grid, and once he calmed down he would win championships.
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July 29th, 2016, 08:16 AM   #6
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It's official, Melandri will be riding with Chaz Davies in 2017.


Quote:
As reported by MCN earlier this week, Marco Melandri will join Welshman Chaz Davies at the factory Aruba Ducati squad in the World Superbike championship for 2017.

The Italian has spent 2016 watching from the sidelines after failing to secure a seat in the world championship for this year, but says he’s excited to get back to action as soon as possible as Davide Giugliano’s replacement.

“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.”

Speaking exclusively to MCN at last week’s German MotoGP race, Ducati Corse boss Paulo Ciabatti confessed to MCN that Giugliano was on the way out, admitting that not just results needed to be taken into account.

“Giugliano has had good results, but in the end I think we need to see both rider value and promotional value so we can keep the series interesting.”

The news also sees Davies secured for two more years with the Italian manufacturer – but with no mention of his future beyond 2017, it could well be that he’s eyeing up a potential move to MotoGP in the near future.

WSB: Melandri confirmed at Ducati alongside Davies | MCN
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July 30th, 2016, 01:31 AM   #7
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Go Marco!
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August 23rd, 2016, 02:34 AM   #8
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August 25th, 2016, 08:19 PM   #9
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