The first brand new entry for the 2012 World Superbike Championship season has been announced with the launch of the Ducati Roma team, formed from the remnants of the outgoing Supersonic Racing operation.
Supersonic Racing announced its withdrawal from the World Superbike Championship after two seasons last month, with this weekend's event at Portimao proving its swansong.
However, it will return in 2012 under new management after being purchased by Andrea Petricca, who has led SS Lazio to success in the FIM Superstock 1000 series and the Italian domestic championship.
Racing under the name 'Ducati Roma', Petricca is thrilled to be taking over from Supersonic and taking up a 'new challenge' for 2012.
"After four years racing and winning in Superstock and the Italian Championship, I am proud to take up the Supersonic Team baton that has achieved excellent results in SBK. I warmly thank my friend Danilo Soncini for the trust in us and to allow us to continue the team, adding 'her' to our brand. Now we must commit ourselves to the maximum, not only to avoid losing the experience of the Supersonic Team, but also to live up to the new challenge. "
Supersonic team manager Danilo Soncini was also pleased to be handing the reins over to Petricca, even going as far to committing his personal company, Box & Box, as a key sponsor for 2012.
"I am extremely pleased to deliver all our material to my friend Andrea. I've known him for many years and I know how much passion he shares for the racing world and he is about to enter into the highest category of production-based series. I have shared so many emotions with Andrea in the past and the idea to pursue a path with Ducati makes me very happy, beyond any financial negotiations.
“In some ways it is, as if my project was born 2 years ago, continuing now through his structure. That's why I accept the invitation of Andrea in linking the brand of my company "BOX & BOX", as a sponsor of Ducati Roma. Therefore, a "good luck" to Andrea and his team for a future star in SBK.”
Maxime Berger currently competes for Supersonic in the World Superbike class, while former MotoGP rider Niccolo Canepa is SS Lazio's sole racer in the Superstock series.