Moto Rapido has announced it will expand its British Superbike Championship effort in 2012 by entering a pair of Ducati-supported 1199 Panigales.
The team stepped up to the BSB stage in 2011 with a single EVO entry for Scott Smart, the former race winner claiming fifth in the sub-category standings, but with the series adopting a single set of regulations this season, Moto Rapido will now compete on a level playing field with its rivals.
However, it will do so with brand-new Ducati machinery after striking a deal to campaign the recently launched 1199 Panigale with support direct from the Italian manufacturer.
No riders have been formally confirmed, but team owner Steve Moore is confident the 1199 Panigale will ensure Moto Rapido can be front runners in 2012.
“It has been a massive shift for us in the past two years. We've come from being a small dealer team to a Ducati supported effort in BSB. I am so proud of what we have achieved in the past couple of seasons and long may it continue. The technical support from Italy has been excellent and we are looking forward to working closer with them this year.
“With Ducati's help and the backing of our two main sponsors Solent Scientific and Key2 Group, there is no reason we can't be giving last year's front-runners a hard time. In the history of the series the playing field has never been as level as it is now for 2012.”
Moto Rapido's decision to run the 1199 Panigale comes despite Ducati choosing to limit the bike's world championship debut to the Superstock category, with the Superbike variant set to compete in 2013 instead.
Moto Rapido's confirmation also means just three teams are yet to confirm their BSB plans for this season.