Sterilgarda Ducati is confident of getting back to their pre-season testing form as the World Superbike Championship visits the opening European round of the year in Spain.

Sterilgarda and sole rider Shane Byrne have endured a difficult start to the season, particularly in light of their dominant showing during testing, while the team's cause hasn't been aided by the decision to release second rider Alex Polita before the opening race.

Nonetheless, after a double DNF in Australia, Byrne showed flashes of speed in Qatar, reaching the top eight shootout in qualifying and finishing inside the top six during the first race.

With that in mind, plus the fact that Byrne already has crucial experience of the Valencia circuit, team manager Marco Borciani is confident they will be back up at the front come race day.

"Our objective at Valencia is to repeat the great performance of race one in Qatar - being in the leading pack and fight till the end. Shane knows the track well and will start on equal terms with the other riders during practice, where we have to capture a good starting position in the first rows.

"Valencia is a track where is very hard to overtake and in order to score a great result, we'll have to get in the leading pack from lap one."


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