After spending his first two World Superbike seasons with Ten Kate Honda, Carlos Checa will switch to Ducati for 2010 - with the Althea team.
Checa, who last raced for Ducati in MotoGP in 2005, won two races on his way to fourth overall in his rookie 2008 WSBK season.
The Spaniard had a slow start to 2009, but has claimed four podiums during the second half of the season and looks set to confirm seventh in the standings.
The #7 will make his Althea and 1198 debut during the Portimao test from October 27-28.
”After two years with Honda and the Ten Kate team, I've decided to change and I'm extremely happy to join the Althea Ducati Team,” said Checa. “I know Genesio Bevilacqua is a determined and capable manager and I hope to reach excellent results with his team.
“I'm impatient to get to Portimao to be able to end my racing season in the best possible way and also to start to get to know my new team and try out my new bike.
“I'm very happy to be back on a Ducati motorcycle and I look forward to start working immediately with my technical staff because our target is to be competitive right from the very first Superbike championship races,” he added.
Althea Honda began the 2009 WSBK season with Tommy Hill, but the Englishman split from the team after round seven and was replaced by the squad's Supersport rider Matthieu Lagrive.
The team's best race result so far this season is tenth place by Lagrive in race one at Misano, but team boss Bevilacqua believes the switch from Honda to Ducati machinery will put Checa in podium contention next season.
”I'm very satisfied with the agreement reached with Ducati because it allows us to take part in the next World Superbike Championship with the right bikes to battle for the podium,” he said.
“I'm also absolutely delighted to welcome Carlos Checa on board with our team. I know him personally and I admire his capabilities. He's a rider that I've always hoped could be part of our team.
“Carlos is strongly motivated and he's on the same wavelength as we are in terms of projects and targets,” he added.
Althea will have four bikes next season and 'negotiations are still pending with some important riders'.