Former World Superbike Championship-winning team Althea Racing has announced it will return to the Ducati fold in 2014 by entering an EVO-specification 1199 Panigale for Niccolo Canepa.

The Italian operation dominated the 2011 WSBK season with Carlos Checa on a Ducati, but switched to Aprilia machinery in 2013 after failing to agree terms with the manufacturer over the level of support it would receive in developing the new Panigale.

Nonetheless, Althea has now confirmed that it will collaborate with Ducati again in 2014 by entering a 1199 Panigale into the inaugural EVO class, a sub-category within the WSBK races that comprise of Superbike-specification chassis, brakes and suspension, with stock engines and electronics.

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Furthermore, the move also signals a return to World Superbikes for former MotoGP rider Canepa, the Italian having previously raced full-time in the series in 2012 aboard a Red Devils Roma Ducati, as well as partake in a handful of wild-card outings with Alstare Ducati in 2013.

"I am extremely happy to be able to collaborate once again with Ducati, a brand and a company with which we have achieved great success and results that we fully intend to repeat," said team manager Genesio Bevilacqua. "I am certain that next year we will be able to bring great satisfaction to our fans and consecrate Canepa among the top Superbike riders.

"I have full faith in Niccol? and am sure that he is the right rider for our new and stimulating project. I would like to thank Ducati for its trust that I am certain that our team will be able to repay with the utmost dedication."

As it stands, Althea's entry is the fourth officially confirmed EVO entry for 2014, along with two Grillini Kawasakis for Sheridan Morais and Michel Fabrizio, and an MRS Kawasaki for Jeremy Guarnoni.

However, as many as five more Kawasakis between Provec Kawasaki (David Salom and Toni Elias), Mahi Racing (Fabien Foret) and Team Pedercini are expected to enter, while BMW is set to be represented by Sylvain Barrier and a Team Toth-entered rider.