New Xerox Ducati signing Michel Fabrizio has spoken officially about his one-year deal to partner Troy Bayliss on the new 1200cc works World Superbikes next year.
The 22-year-old Italian agreed a one-year deal at the weekend, which sees him move from DFX Corse privateer Honda team to arguably the most high-profile race team outside MotoGP.
Honda are reeling from the move as they had been grooming Michel Fabrizio for bigger things, and he was the only rider in the World Superbike paddock contracted directly to Honda Europe.
Michel Fabrizio said: “I am really happy! I hope I will give a good impression of myself within the team and I also hope I can enter the hearts of all the Ducatisti throughout the world.
“The decision came about while I was on holiday in August. I received a telephone call from Davide Tardozzi, who said there was a possibility of racing for Ducati, and that was a great satisfaction for me.
“It’s a big commitment, we will have the new bike and I’m going to have to work really hard.
“I know we have 12 days of testing available and I’ve got to make the most of them, because I immediately have to get to know the new bike and start to gel with my new team.
“My first appearance will for sure be after October 30, when my contract with Honda comes to an end, so that means in the scheduled tests in November.
“My team-mate Troy Bayliss is the only thing that I’m not worried about because Troy is a great person and a great rider, so I think I can learn a lot from him. I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”
Xerox Ducati team boss Davide Tardozzi said: “We’d like to give a warm welcome to Michel who is a talented young rider and who in our opinion has not yet expressed all of his considerable potential.
“2008 will surely be an important season for him, seeing as for the first time he is part of a factory team.
“All of us here in Ducati Corse would like to thank Lorenzo Lanzi for the commitment he has demonstrated in these years, and for the popularity he has been able to create with all the many Ducati tifosi.”