Ducati Corse has confirmed Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano will form its rider line-up for the 2014 and 2015 World Superbike Championship seasons.
A third season in World Superbikes for Welshman Davies, the former World Supersport champion scored three wins en route to fifth in the 2013 standings for BMW Motorrad, but was left seeking a new ride when the German marque opted to withdraw its factory support from the series.
A move that had been speculated for several weeks, the 26-year-old's arrival at Ducati on a two-season contract comes five years after he turned down the opportunity to join the manufacturer as its MotoGP test rider in favour of a regular race ride.
He will be joined by Giugliano, who returns to the Ducati fold after making his WSBK debut in 2012 aboard the Althea Racing-prepared 1098R. Staying with Althea Racing for 2013 but switching to Aprilia RSV4 machinery, Giugliano would go on to score two more podiums and a maiden pole position on his way to sixth in the final standings.
Set to make their debut during a test session at Jerez later this week, Davies and Giugliano represents an all-new line-up for Ducati, the Italian manufacturer determined to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 campaign with the new 1199 Panigale Superbike, which bore just a single podium and left the marque bottom of the overall standings.
Despite its inauspicious debut season, hopes are high that the introduction of new regulations from 2014 will allow the 1199 – which has been a race winner at Superstock level - to be more competitive in Superbike guise.
Ducati's rider confirmation comes after last week's revelation that the manufacturer has parted company with Team Alstare mid-way through an original two-year deal, as well as the announcement by Ben Spies – who was hotly tipped to race next year – that he is retiring from competition.
Despite this, Ducati stresses it is on the verge of revealing full details about the organisation and structure of its WSBK effort.