Former Tech 3 Yamaha rider Marco Melandri has been officially named as Sete Gibernau's team-mate at Telefonica Movistar Honda for the 2005 world championship season.

"I'm very satisfied and proud to announce that Marco Melandri will ride for us next season," stated team manager Fausto Gresini. "We've tried to do something together since Marco moved on from the 250 class but we never succeeded, now we have finally reached an agreement thanks to the support of Telefonica MoviStar and Honda.

"I'm sure that we can offer Marco the right atmosphere to work and that he will give us many satisfactions," he added. "Being an Italian team, we are very happy to have an Italian rider, the last time it happened was in the 1999 with Loris Capirossi. Today starts a new adventure and we are ready for it."

The highly rated Melandri took back-to-back podium finishes for Herve Poncharal's satellite Yamaha team in the early part of 2004, but suffered a demoralising second half of the season - scoring points in only two of the final nine races. As such he's looking forward to a fresh start with Honda.

"I'm excited to become part of this team, which is more than a team for me - it is a family," said the former 250cc world champion, who will be starting his third MotoGP season in 2005.

"We have worked hard to reach this agreement and now that we made it I'm happy. I'm motivated and ready for this new challenge, I look forward to it and would like to start as soon as possible," he added.

Melandri will be replacing Colin Edwards, who has moved to the factory Yamaha team for next season, and will ride an RCV for the first time during a three day test session at Jerez from November 24-26.