Lorenzo Zanetti has announced he will graduate to the World Superbike Championship in 2012 after penning a deal with PATA Racing to ride an Aprilia RSV-4.
The Italian operation, which ran a bike for Noriyuki Haga
in 2011, had been one of the few teams not to confirm its plans for 2012, but while recent rumours suggested the Japanese rider would remain for a second season, PATA has since opted to sign Superstock 1000 standout Zanetti.
Zanetti steps up to World Superbikes after just two seasons competing in the Superstock 1000 series, the 23-year-old finishing seventh aboard a Ducati in 2010 before winning his first race at Monza on the way to third overall with BMW Italia this season.
Following in the footsteps of former SSTK 1000 rival Davide Giugliano, Zanetti is currently earmarked to ride an Aprilia RSV-4 in 2012, though GPOne.com
is reporting that there is an option to choose Ducati machinery before the start of the year.
PATA Racing was formed as an amalgamation between DFX Corse and BRC Racing, though the latter, headed up by former racer Marco Borciani, will not be involved in the 2012 project.
The announcement that Zanetti will ride for PATA Racing leaves question marks over the future of Haga, who is now one of only two full-time WSBK riders in 2011 not to have their 2012 plans already determined.