Althea Racing will kick off the preparations for its first campaign as Ducati's 'de facto representation' in the 2011 World Superbike with a test at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain later in the month.

Ducati's decision to withdraw its factory involvement from the World Superbike Championship has elevated the status of the privateer teams that will run with the 1198R in 2011, so far confirmed to be Althea Racing and Liberty Racing.

Indeed, while Ducati won't have full involvement in the series next year, it has confirmed it will provide substantial backing to its customer backers, most notably Althea, who beat the official Xerox team on the way to third in the 2010 standings.

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With Carlos Checa staying on board for another two seasons, Althea Racing will essentially become the semi-official Ducati representative from the moment it hits the track in Spain in two weeks time.

"We will be going to Aragon with a package that is already competitive and together with Carlos we will be pushing forward in the development work we began in 2010," declared team manager Genesio Bevilacqua.

"Taking to the track as an 'official' team doesn't worry us at all, because over the past season we showed on a number of occasions that we could compete with the top teams and third overall in the championship is clear evidence of that. It is obvious that we will have to work hard to keep up with our rivals, but we are ready and can't wait to begin this new adventure."