Effenbert Liberty Ducati were in bullish mood as they kick-started their 2012 World Superbike and Superstock campaign with a snowy launch in the Italian ski resort of Sestriere.
The Czech outfit made its WSBK debut in 2011 with Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz at the helm, the pair notching up five podiums between them, while the former went on to finish sixth in the overall standings despite being hampered by injury during the first-half of the season.
For 2012, Effenbert Liberty will expand to three bikes, with Frenchman Maxime Berger joining Guintoli and Smrz, while the team will also appear in the Superstock 1000 class for the first time, with riders Brett McCormick and Federico Sandi racing a pair of brand-new Ducati 1199 Panigales.
Though Guintoli, Smrz and Berger will make do with the existing 1098R until the 1199 is developed to WSBK specification, new team manager Fabio Alberti and CEO Mario Bertuccio nonetheless have high hopes for its expanded line-up this season
“We are here to win the championship,” Bertuccio declared. “I can see already now that there's a great possibility to make this dream come true.”
Ducati Superbike Project Manager Ernesto Marinelli was also present for the launch, the Italian excited about the potential of the new Superstock machine.
“I'm very happy to see that the team is growing. Now they have 2 riders in Superstock and it's an important class for us because it's closer to the production motorcycle. On one hand, there are many differences between the new Ducati and the old one, on the other hand there are very few.
“From the technological point of view, we installed in this new bike all the highest technology that we've learnt from racing over the past five years. The similarities? It's still a Ducati. We wanted to keep the familiar feeling, the characteristics and the feedback that the bike gives to the rider, of course with the emphasis on performance, lightness and beauty.”
Effenbert Liberty will hit the track for the first time at Phillip Island ahead of opening round to be held on 24-26 February at the same circuit.