It has just been revealed that Troy Bayliss will join forces with Loris Capirossi on the Ducati MotoGP machine in 2003.
The two riders have signed two-year contracts to ride the new Desmosedici V4 in the Malboro colours after the tobacco giant switched its long-standing support away from the factory Yamaha squad. Malboro has committed itself to a four-year contract with " Team Malboro Ducati " .
Capirossi, a former 125cc and 250cc world champion, turned his back on his West Honda Pons GP squad after criticising HRC over its decision to restrict allocation of its V5 RCV machine.
Claudio Doneniciali, head of Ducati Corse, the firm’s racing arm, said: " We strongly wanted Troy and Loris because both have shown themselves to be extremely talented riders and above all because they are totally committed to our project " added Domenicali. " The desire to win and to face new challenges that we see in both of them was the deciding factor in our decision. Thanks to their experience, we are certain that we will make our MotoGP debut with a top-level team and with the right motivation to develop the Desmosedici as quickly as possible. "
Bayliss whose immediate focus is the defence of his WSB crown at Imola on September 29, will be joined for winter testing by Capirossi at Valencia on November 5/6 two days after the final race of the 2002 MotoGP season – at Valencia.