So here’s another name in the frame to ride alongside Chaz Davies on the WSB Ducati next year – Marco Melandri.
The news has been confirmed by Paolo Ciabatti who has thrown the Italian’s name into the mix of three riders who may end up alongside the talented Welshman.
Ciabatti said: “It’s true that we are talking to him and we are also talking to two other riders but no decision has been made yet.
“Yes [Melandri] is liked by sponsors Aruba but the decision about the riders will not be made on the basis of that criteria.”
The other two riders who could end up with the ride for next season are Michael van der Mark and Eugene Laverty. We’ll bring you more when we have it on this – but Melandri’s Italian nationality is widely thought to be a major plus in his favour for the future plans of the Ducati squad and its sponsor. Eugene needs to be learning Italian pretty quickly to make the most of the negotiation window…