Matteo Baiocco will return for a second season of World Superbike racing after being signed to complete Pedercini Kawasaki's line-up alongside Roger Lee Hayden.
The 25-year-old made his debut in the series last season, Baiocco starting the season with PSG-1 Kawasaki before the team folded mid-season. He returned towards the end of the year with Guandalini Ducati, where he secured a career-best finish of tenth at the Portimao season finale.
A former Superstock frontrunner, while Baiocco admits the strength of competition is destined to make things difficult for his privateer team, he is confident he will be a regular point scorer.
“I'm very happy for the opportunity that has been given to me by the Pedercini family,” he says. “I'm really excited about next season. After a very difficult 2009 season now I have the opportunity to compete in all the Superbike World Championship races and my targets are to enter the Superpole and to obtain as more points as possible.
“It will be one of the most difficult championship of the Superbike history with 14 official riders but I'm ready to race and work with my team to give the best of myself. I will try to give back some great results to the Pedercini team, Kawasaki, my family and all the sponsors who have had such faith in me.”
With Baiocco teaming up with American rider Hayden, brother MotoGP rider Nicky, Pedercini Kawasaki team manager Donato Pedercini is pleased with his line-up for 2010.
“We're very happy with our signing of Matteo,” he said. “He is a young rider and we hope to realize his full potential. Baiocco has already shown he can run inside the top fifteenth-twenty and we'll do our best to guide him through the next Superbike World Championship.
“Our team is very motivated to take our two young riders to their highest level and we are working hard to be ready for the 2010 season in the best possible way. For sure the first two races in Phillip Island will be very difficult for us with two new riders and private bikes, but we'll try our best as usually.
“I think the next season will be very open and there are many strong riders and teams and so our target is to do better than in 2009.”
Baiocco's confirmation at Pedercini now means just one team, DFX Corse, is yet to submit its rider for the 2010 season. A total of 26 full-time riders are expected to make the opening round in Australia later this month.