Aprilia will launch its 2010 World Superbike campaign this week in a ceremony that is likely to see Alitalia confirmed as its new title sponsor.
Rumours of Italy's national airliner becoming involved in Aprilia's World Superbike effort have been circulating for several months, but with just three weeks to go before the start of the new season, it appears a deal has been struck.
Significantly, Alitalia's involvement could well go beyond an external makeover, with BikeRacing
claiming the team will become known as Aprilia Alitalia Racing as a result.
Aprilia ran without any major sponsors during its return to World Superbike competition in 2009, but its surprise success in the hands of Max Biaggi has made the team a more lucrative option for prospective sponsors during the winter.
Although it has been two decades since it was last involved in motorsport, Alitalia is still synonymous in Italian racing having been the distinctive backers for Lancia and Fiat during their World Rally Championship days.
British Superbike champion Leon Camier will partner Biaggi at Aprilia this season.