Marco Melandri will continue to ride for the Ducati Marlboro MotoGP team at this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix.

After a disastrous opening eleven races, in which he has taken just one top ten finish, paddock rumours suggested that the Italian would split from the world championship winning team after Laguna Seca, with Sete Gibernau tipped to fill the void following several impressive test sessions.

Ducati still seems interested in some form of partnership with Gibernau, who retired from MotoGP at the end of 2006, but Melandri - faced with the prospect of sitting out the rest of the season - has made his determination to see out the year clear and will continue alongside Casey Stoner at Brno.

"I like Brno and I've won there in 125 and in 250. Whilst I've not managed a podium in MotoGP I have always gone well in testing," said Melandri, who celebrated his 26th birthday on August 7. "This year they've re-laid the track so that will be a new factor for everybody. We'll see.

"I hope we can continue to work as well as we did in Germany and America, but this time finish it off with a result in the race," admitted Marco, who has failed to score at the last two rounds. "The track is definitely suited to our bike so expectations are high.

"The holiday went well - I spent a few days in Montecarlo and then went back to Romagna because I hadn't seen my family for a long time. I spent my birthday with them and it was a nice way to kick back and relax," he added.



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