According to a brief statement, motorcycling legend Frankie Chili looks all but certain to switch from Ducati to Kawasaki machines next season after his PSG-1 team signed a deal to run ZX-10Rs in the 2005 World SBK championship.

"Kawasaki Motors Europe and PSG-1 Corse Team signed, on July 22nd, an important commercial agreement for the official participation with two riders in the 2005 World Superbike Championship and one rider in the European Superstock Championship," said the statement, without actually naming any riders.

"This is the start of the 'PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse Team' which will develop the ZX-10R in the World and European Championships.

"PSG-1 Corse Team is proud of this agreement with Kawasaki Motors Europe and is sure to get good results from a highly performing bike with a great potential.

"PSG-1 Corse Team will start next week to get confident with the ZX-10R, already at (the) disposal of the technical staff of the Team of the Republic of San Marino."

Chili entered WSBK in 1995 on a Ducati and has remained with the brand for all but three years - from 1999 to 2001 - when he rode for Alstare Suzuki. The Italian returned to Ducati in 2002, with the NCR team, and would choose the Bologna based company's customer spec bikes when he formed his own PSG-1 team in 2003.

However, Chili's relationship with Ducati has been strained this season by a lack of confidence in the new 999 - which eventually led to him switching back to a 'hybrid' 998 - while the recent rise of four-cylinder machines tempted the Italian's team into discussions with rival manufacturers.

Although no comment was made as to the level of support PSG-1 will get from Kawasaki, it is likely that a clear development and support programme will be in place.

40-year-old Chili has competed in 231 World Superbike races to date, claiming 17 victories - his most recent at Misano this season. Frankie is currently fourth in the championship, 41 behind leader James Toseland.

The top ZX-10R rider in the 2004 championship is Bertocchi Kawasaki's Mauro Sanchini, in twelfth. Sanchini's best race finish so far this season is sixth, claimed at both Phillip Island and Oschersleben.