Reigning World Superbike champions Althea Ducati unveiled their two riders, new sponsors and new livery just three weeks before the 2012 season kicks off in Phillip Island.
World Champion Carlos Checa will be joined by 2011 Superstock 1000 champion Davide Guiliano in the two man team who have also secured additional sponsorship for the forthcoming season.
In addition to Unibat the Italian team now has support from online betting company SNAI and Italian telecoms company TIM.
In a team launch where Ducati’s WSB project leader Ernestom Marinelli and WSB boss Paolo Flammini were present, Althea team bos Genisio Bevilaqua said: “I’m very happy to officially present our 2012 line-up.
"As you know, our confirmed riders are SBK champion Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano, a rising talent. We thank all of our sponsors, and particularly Unibat, SNAI and TIM, as it is thanks to them that we are able to embark on this adventure.
"We start the season with high expectations, having won in both the Superbike and Superstock categories last year.
"We know it won’t be easy as the competition is very strong but we will do our best to repeat last year’s incredible performance, knowing that we can count on the experience gained by our men in the field during 2011.
"We hope that this experience will help us to do even better than last year.”
Carlos Checa remained humble about his 2012 title aspirations despite his dominance last season. He said: “I prefer not to say too much, it’s impossible to make predictions when it comes to racing!
"We do know that this coming season will be tough, there will be stiff competition and we will fight with more or less the same bike as in previous seasons.
"Having said that, I am confident and can’t wait to get back on track with my team – it goes without saying that we will do our utmost to defend the title!”
Checa and Guiliano will get just two days of testing before the season kicks off with two days at the official SBK test the week preceding the race on 24th to 26th February.