The Effenbert-Liberty Ducati team made an impressive debut in the World Superbike Championship in 2011, but the Czech-based outfit had hoped for a more successful introduction to the elite series.
Both Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz finished on the rostrum and challenged for race victories this year, but the team's marketing director, Roberto Bocchiola, felt the team was capable of bigger things and is determined to up the ante next season.
“We all wished and hoped we could do better, that is why we went into racing, not to end up sixth or fourth or whatever, but we have to understand that it was our first WSBK season,” Bocchiola told the official World Superbike website, www.wsbk.com.
“We had some lucky and unlucky moments but we should be quite happy, even thought we wished, hoped and thought we could have managed even better results. If we look back and consider this is our first season we should not be too hard on ourselves and now we will fight to do better next year.”
Guintoli missed the early part of the season through injury but made up for lost time on his return, eventually rallying to end the campaign in sixth position overall after sealing a hat-trick of rostrum results.
Smrz also made it onto the podium three times, although he was unable to match the consistency of his team-mate and ended the year in 14th position overall in the points table.
“In 2012 we want 'Kuba' to have the right season, not to repeat a similar season like 2011,” said Bocchiola. “We want him to ride at his standards, so he will have a good season, a regular season at a good level.
“Sylvain, if things go his way then next year he will improve again. When you look at this year, when he recovered his strength and confidence after his early injury, results were coming and it could have been even a little bit better, because he got close to winning a couple of times.
“We believe that with the experience we have accumulated and with Sylvain and the team knowing each other better, with no bad luck Sylvain is going to improve a bit more. Surely, we hope Sylvain can get into the top five, if not the top three.”
Maxime Berger will also ride for the Effenbert-Liberty Ducati squad in World Superbikes, with Brett McCormick contesting the Superstock class.
McCormick may yet be joined by a second rider in the team's Superstock challenge.