Francesco Bagnaia will remain in Moto2 with the Sky Racing Team VR46 in 2018.

The young Italian has taken two podiums from his and the team's first seven races in the Moto2 class, prompting MotoGP interest from the likes of Aspar Ducati for next season.

However on Thursday at Assen it was officially announced that Pecco has agreed a new deal with VR46.

Bagnaia said: "Just a year ago, I decided to face the Moto2 challenge with the Sky Racing Team VR46, a Team that, with the VR46 Riders Academy and Sky, has always supported me. Today I'm proud to say that in 2018 I will continue to work in this big family for achieving great results. With more experience I'm sure we will be able to remain close to the top guys."

Team manager Pablo Nieto added: "I'm really happy to confirm that Pecco will stay with us next year in Moto2. We made our debut in the new category in Qatar, but thanks to this talented rookie and his extraordinary ability to adapt his riding style to the new bike, we have already taken some nice satisfactions.

"His choice to stay in the Sky Racing Team VR46 is an extra injection of confidence for everybody to make even more efforts and give their 100% every weekend. As a team, we will continue to support him by providing all our professionalism, commitment and passion to help him in his grow path and to show, not only on track, his incredible talent. I'm sure we can achieve important goals together."

Stefano Manzi currently rides the second VR46 Kalex machine, but is yet to score a point. The team has expressed possible interest in switching to the KTM chassis, should the Austrian brand expand its Moto2 effort.

By Peter McLaren

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