GSE Racing has confirmed that it has agreed a three-year contract with Ducati Corse to compete in the Superbike World Championship, and will field an unchanged line-up next season.

At the same time as announcing the promising agreement to field factory bikes in the series until the end of 2004, the UK's leading superbike team has also confirmed that Neil Hodgson will remain on a GSE Ducati for the duration of this contract, and will again be joined by James Toseland in 2002.

Hodgson had been linked to a possible ride at the works Castrol Honda team alongside former world champion Colin Edwards, but has since opted to see out the rest of his four-year contract with GSE.

"There has been a lot of speculation in the press, but I always knew where my future lay," the Lancastrian admitted, "I am delighted that I have been able to commit the next three years of my career to GSE Racing and Ducati Corse. I wouldn't be in this position without the support of the team over the past three seasons, and it is now my intention to repay GSE Racing and its sponsors for their invaluable support. I believe that this agreement gives me the best opportunity to win the Superbike World Championship."

The twin announcements were made by GSE Racing team manager Colin Wright, who is delighted with the long-term view adopted by both Ducati Corse and his star rider.

"GSE Racing has made a successful entry into the Superbike World Championship, and this has been recognised by the Ducati factory," he said, "We are now in a position to plan for the future development of the team after the secure foundations that have
been laid over the past three seasons.

"Consistency is the key to this strategy and our aim is to pick up from where we have left off this season. I am confident that Neil will be one of the main contenders for the 2002 Superbike World Championship, and that James will continue to develop into the best young British prospect at this level. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the GSE Group, HM Plant, Axo, Motorex, Dunlop and Suomy for their continued support in 2002."

Toseland is also delighted that he has been included in the team's plans for 2002, after a season of mixed fortunes this year as he learnt both the circuits and his machinery.

"GSE Racing has confirmed that they are taking me up on the option of a second year with the team," the youngster confirmed, "The progress that I have made this year, and the confidence that I have built up as a result, are down to the support of the team. I am sure that I shall be able to reach the next stage of my development programme on the GSE Racing Ducati with this tried-and-tested framework in place."