Toseland and Laconi Confirmed as Factory Superbike Riders Lanzi To Make WSBK Debut in Stefano Caracchi's 'Satellite' Team Hodgson Returns To Ducati Corse For AMA Attack With Eric Bostrom Bologna (Italy), Monday November 8, 2004: Ducati Corse's...
Toseland and Laconi Confirmed as Factory Superbike Riders
Lanzi To Make WSBK Debut in Stefano Caracchi's 'Satellite' Team
Hodgson Returns To Ducati Corse For AMA Attack With Eric Bostrom
Bologna (Italy), Monday November 8, 2004: Ducati Corse's 2005 Superbike programmes are now taking shape with the triple announcement of an unchanged line-up in its World Superbike factory team, the debut of a young Italian talent in a satellite World Superbike structure and a redoubling of its efforts to win the AMA Superbike championship.
24-year-old Brit James Toseland, who won the 2004 World Superbike championship on a Ducati 999F04, will defend the title on the '05 version of the bike that won ten of the 22 races on the calendar.
One month ago at Magny-Cours, James became the third British rider to win the Superbike crown, and his team-mate will once again be the 29-year-old Frenchman Regis Laconi, who has also been confirmed as Ducati factory rider for 2005.
"This past week has been brilliant, first winning the MCN Man of the Year award and then having my position with Ducati Corse confirmed for 2005" commented Toseland. "It's fantastic to start the season with the same team that I won the championship with and I'm hoping that our relationship will continue to be as successful.
"I learned an awful lot last year and I feel confident about retaining the world championship. I can't wait to get started" he concluded.
"I am very happy to be reconfirmed by Ducati, this is what I wanted" declared Laconi. "Next year I will try and win the championship for sure, I came very close this year but unfortunately I made some mistakes, even though I was nearly always the quickest rider out on the track... c'est la vie!
"It's sure to be more difficult next year but I know that Ducati will be working harder than ever over the winter to prepare an even more competitive bike for the 2005 season."
A third Ducati 999 will also be raced in World Superbike by the talented Italian youngster Lorenzo Lanzi. The 23-year-old from Cesena earned his promotion with a string of positive results in World Supersport, where he finished fifth overall, and he will campaign a 999RS for the satellite SC team run by Stefano Caracchi. The Bologna-based team will also continue with the Supersport race programme of the Ducati 749R that Lanzi took to its debut this year.
"I am really pleased to have this new challenge, above all because I will have the same Supersport team of mechanics with me" declared Lanzi. "Once again I move up a category after a year, and for this reason it's not going to be easy, but I will be riding the 999RS, which is a very competitive bike, and we hope to get some good results."
The final piece in the jigsaw for Ducati Corse's Superbike plans comes with the announcement that Toseland's fellow Brit and 2003 WSBK champion, Neil Hodgson, will line up alongside Eric Bostrom in the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin AMA Superbike team for next season.
After a difficult year in MotoGP on a Desmosedici GP3, the 31-year-old from Burnley is happy to return to the 999 bike that took him to the 2003 WSBK title and is also relishing this tough new challenge.
"Having had a disappointing experience in MotoGP, it's such a relief to be back where I belong with Ducati Corse" declared Hodgson. "The AMA Championship poses a great challenge both to me personally and to Ducati as they haven't won it for many years.
"I would like to make history and be the first rider ever to have won the British and World Superbike Championships and the AMA Championship. Being back with the 999 is going to be so natural for me and I can't wait to start testing. The main thing that I have discovered this year is that I cannot race just to make up the numbers. I need to win!".
Toseland, Laconi and Lanzi will be in action next week on November 16-18 in three days of testing at Valencia, whereas Neil Hodgson's first appearance for the AMA Superbike team is scheduled for January 3-5, 2005 in testing at the legendary Daytona circuit in Florida.