Late last month, Ducati reported that the 2011 World Superbike Champion, Carlos Checa, was confirmed to ride with the Italian manufacturer through 2013.
Although Checa, who will contest aboard the Ducati 1199 Panigale with teammate Ayrton Badovini, was confirmed, there's was speculation about who the main sponsor would be once Althea and Ducati parted ways.
But on Sunday, Ducati confirmed that Team Alstare will be the main sponsor, representing the team under the title "Team Ducati Alstare."
Team Alstare, headquartered in Alleur, Belgium, and run by Francis Batta, has signed a two-year contract to represent Ducati in World SBK.
Speaking of the partnership, Ducati says this impressive set-up combined with the passion of the Bologna factory's engineers will create the perfect synergy to meet the expectations of the new Ducati 1199 Panigale."
The first tests with the new outfit will arrive at the Aragon circuit in Spain Nov. 14-15, and continue at Jerez Nov. 28-30 during the pre-winter WSBK tests.
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati Superbike Project Manager) says: "At Ducati, we are very happy and confident with this agreement. The professionalism, passion and sporting character of Francis Batta and all his staff, together with his structure, which sets an industry standard in terms of equipment and organisation, are vital elements for our future plans. We have a lot of work to do, and I am sure that we are able to do it in the best possible way."
From 1995-1997, a similar partnership returned exceptionally good results, when Ducati and Team Alstare joined forces to compete in the European Supersport, World Supersport and World Superbike series.
Francis Batta says: "For me, it's an absolute thrill to be able to join the Ducati family again. Together, we were so successful in the past and Ducati remains a reference brand for me today. We are going to face a challenge which is highly stimulating both for me and for my team and we will apply our absolute best efforts to making sure this is a successful endeavor."