The Aspar MotoGP team has announced it will run an unchanged line-up for the 2018 MotoGP season, with Karel Abraham being retained for next year.
Abraham joined Aspar for the 2017 season after an unsuccessful one-year spell in World Superbikes, riding a 2015-spec Ducati, partnering Alvaro Bautista at the Spanish squad.
The Czech rider lies 17th in the current standings with a best result so far of seventh at Assen, although he secured a career-best grid slot of second in the second round of the year in Argentina.
He will continue to ride a two-year-old Ducati next season, while Bautista gets a year-old GP17.
“I am very happy to have re-signed with the Aspar team and to continue with the same group of people is very important to me," said Abraham.
"I am very happy, I am already looking forward to a new challenge next season but right now I need to concentrate on the rest of this season, which is the most important.
"As I said, I am very happy, but we have to focus on the here and now.”
Team boss Jorge 'Aspar' Martinez added: "When we signed him [Abraham] last year we felt he could do a good job but the results he has achieved have been a very positive surprise.
"He has done much better than we expected, and as the races have gone by he has continued to improve and achieve great results. We think we can continue to improve with him in the future.
"It is a simple choice, he is happy with the team and we are happy with him, so we are going to continue in the same way and chase even bigger goals.”
The news of Abraham staying on at Aspar leaves only three unfilled seats on the 2018 MotoGP grid - one at Marc VDS and two at Avintia Ducati.
Aprilia outcast Sam Lowes and Honda World Superbike rider Stefan Bradl are believed to be the main contenders at Marc VDS, with Tito Rabat poised for a move to Avintia.
2018 MotoGP rider line-up so far:
|Marc VDS Honda||
|Tech 3 Yamaha||