Italy's Luca Marconi has joined PTR Honda for the 2013 World Supersport Championship.

Marconi, who finished 23rd in the series this season on the VFT Racing Yamaha R6 with a best result of 11th at Aragon, is the first confirmed name in PTR's line-up for next season.

British rider Sam Lowes left the team last week, switching to Yakhnich Yamaha in a three-year deal.

Former 125cc Grand Prix rider Marconi has set himself a target of challenging for his 'best ever' results on a bike he regards as 'the best in the paddock'.

"I am very happy to be riding what is widely accepted as the best bike in the World Supersport Championship - the PTR Honda," said Marconi, who has two years' experience of competing in the series.

"Next year will be a big year for me and I want to be challenging in the points at every race and to see how far I can go.

"It will not be easy but I am happy with my choice of team and excited that together we can achieve my best ever results."

The ex-European mini-bikes champion, who hails from Rimini, will join the team at the European tests in January before travelling to Phillip Island in Australia in February for further testing ahead of the opening round of the championship there.

PTR Honda team manager, Simon Buckmaster, said: "Luca is an underrated young talent from Italy that we welcome into our PTR team.

"The strength of our team and motorcycles will let him shine and show his true potential."