Althea Racing has officially confirmed that it will switch to factory Aprilia RSV4 machinery for the 2013 World Superbike Championship.

Having started out with Honda in 2008, Althea made the switch to privateer Ducatis from 2010 and quickly emerged as race winners.

Following Ducati's factory team withdrawal at the end of that season, Althea was promoted to 'de facto' manufacturer status and went on to dominate the 2011 Championship with Carlos Checa.

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This year proved a tougher prospect - Checa finishing fourth in the standings - but the Spaniard still took four wins with the ageing (and weighted) 1098 and it came as a surprise when Althea and Ducati announced they could not reach an agreement to run the new 1199 Panigale in 2013.

Ducati and Checa have since joined forces with Alstare, while Althea has now concluded an agreement with Aprilia which will see the team field a single entry for retained former Superstock 1000 winner and rookie 2012 WSBK podium finisher Davide Giugliano.

"I am very pleased to have reached such an important agreement with Aprilia," said team principal Genesio Bevilacqua. "We will race with the championship winning bike next year and this will only encourage us to push even harder and live up to the potential of the bike that we are entrusted with.

"As everybody knows, Althea Racing is used to facing important challenges and counts on a structure that works in perfect harmony to achieve great goals. Our strength is our team and its components; our team members, who have worked together for many years with no secrets between them, remain the same.

"We believe that we have sufficient experience with which to confront the challenge of the 2013 championship.

"Davide Giugliano is our secret weapon. He is a young and aggressive rider who has amazing talent and together with him we will fight for success in the 2013 SBK championship standings. I would like to thank the entire Aprilia staff and particularly Engineer Dall'Igna for their willingness and professionalism."

Giugliano brings the number of official RSV4s on the 2013 grid to four, alongside the factory team entries for Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, plus the Red Devils Roma bike for Michel Fabrizio.

"We are truly pleased to announce the cooperation with Althea Racing, unquestionably one of the top teams in World SBK," stated Aprilia Racing boss Gigi Dall'Igna.

"This is a structure with great technical skills that has our complete confidence. With the bike provided to Althea, and after the agreement reached with the Red Devils Roma team, we now have four RSV4 bikes lined up for the next World SBK season.

"This is a great challenge for Aprilia Racing and, at the same time, a reason for us to be proud since even in the season which just ended the RSV4 has shown itself to be a winning project".

Aprilia won the 2012 WSBK title with newly retired double champion Max Biaggi.