Newly crowned FIM Superstock 1000 champion Davide Giugliano is to be rewarded for its title-winning efforts with a chance to ride in the World Superbike Championship finale alongside Carlos Checa at Portimao.
The Italian secured the SSTK 1000 crown for Althea Racing last time out at Magny-Cours, preceding a day in which the team would go on to win the Superbike title with Checa, while Ducati would also seal both manufacturers' championships.
With a view to stepping up to the World Superbike Championship full-time in 2012, Giugliano's debut in Portugal will be assisted by Ducati SBK project manager Ernesto Marinelli, who will take on the role of his race engineer for the weekend.
“We go to Portimao prepared for this new experience,” Giugliano said. “It won't be easy but I know I have a team behind me that is 100% supportive and this gives me confidence. The team is very motivated, having won the SBK title and to be in the garage with Carlos will give me even more motivation.
“I'm also very happy to have Marinelli as my engineer this weekend – to have the chance to work with him, and other technicians who have in the past worked with greats such as Bayliss, is a real opportunity for me and I want to make the most of it. With regard to possible results, I prefer to keep quiet but I think we can make two good races.”
“I am very happy to make a one-off return to a role that I love, to help Davide in what will surely be a high-pressure event for him and in recognition of the title that he has brought to Ducati,” added Marinelli. “I hope that my experience will help him in the next step along a career path that I trust will be long and as full of success as this year has been.”
Giugliano is highly-regarded in the Ducati camp having been assigned testing duties alongside Troy Bayliss aboard the all-new 1199 Panigale.