The PATA B&G Racing team has confirmed it will run an Aprilia RSV-4 for the remainder of this season and into 2011 after curtailing its relationship with Ducati early.
The Borciani and Guandalini teams had been long-term partners of Ducati prior to their amalgamation for the 2010 season, but the sole 1098R of Jakub Smrz has suffered from a myriad of technical issues this year.
Indeed, although Smrz has shown flashes of pace on the bike – particularly in qualifying –, mechanical problems have contributed to him retiring in each of the last four races.
With Smrz's home round at Brno looming, B&G has duly taken the unprecedented decision to switch bikes mid-season after citing a lack of co-operation from Ducati. The deal will also continue into 2011.
“Switching is an important step not only for our team, but also for Aprilia . We are just at the beginning and together we have enough time to prepare for next season.
“A big thank you to all our sponsors, which have enabled us to make this move. We have complained several times to Ducati but there has been no change, so we have solved this [by changing bikes]. I hope Jakub will suit the four-cylinder engine and achieved good results with it."
B&G Racing's original entry for 2010 had stated its intentions to run an Aprilia, but the deal failed to materialise. Even so, the team's plans to switch machinery were made evident by Smrz sampling the factory BMW during testing last month.