Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall'Igna is 'confident' the 1199 Panigale will become a frontrunner in the 2014 World Superbike Championship.

Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano will spearhead the Italian manufacturer's challenge this season as Ducati returns to the series as a factory effort, re-forming its association with Feel Racing.

And although Dall'Igna concedes the path back to the top may not be straightforward, he is optimistic of good times ahead for Ducati.

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"The results of the latest tests are encouraging. Both riders were able to record important lap times but more important is the fact that their comments regarding the bike have been positive," he said.

"This is a key factor, especially in view of the experience they have accumulated in recent seasons and the fact that both were riding bikes of reference until just a few months ago.

"They are together providing us with the feedback needed in order to develop the 1199 Panigale in the best possible way," added Dall'Igna.

"There is of course a lot of work still to do but I am confident and optimistic and believe that over the course of this coming championship we will get the bike back to where it deserves to be."

The Ducati Superbike Team was officially launched this morning at Bologna in Italy and attended by the manufacturer's senior management figures.

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director, shares Dall'Igna's confidence for the season ahead.

"We have taken the decision to run the Superbike team directly once more, in conjunction with Feel Racing," he said.

"We have won many titles with the Feel Racing team in the past and seeing as they are based in Crespellano, close to Bologna, it is as if they are an offshoot of Ducati Corse.

"We have two new riders, Chaz and Davide who, as well as being young, are also very ambitious and competitive, and with them we hope that we will soon get back to achieving the kind of results we expect," he added.

"To win against the four-cylinders will not be easy but we think that we can achieve good results this year and finally bring satisfaction to our fans with the 1199 Panigale."