HM Plant Ducati announced today [Friday] that James Toseland will remain with the team for the next two years.

HM Plant Ducati will be the only official Ducati Corse satellite team in the series and its riders will be equipped with Ducati 998 F02s.

The agreement secures the services of Toseland until the end of the 2004 season. His HM Plant Ducati team-mate Neil Hodgson will compete for Ducati Corse's official team in 2003. Toseland's team-mate for next season will be named in due course.

Toseland is in his second year with the team. The 21-year-old Yorkshireman has shown both great ability and a continued commitment to improvement that entirely justifies the decision to extend his contract.

"I'm really happy that we've been able reach such a great arrangement," says Toseland. "HM Plant Ducati/GSE Racing has given me so much support over the past year-and-a-half and that has really helped me gain the confidence in my riding that I need to be competitive at world level. The extra support that Ducati Corse has pledged to HM Plant Ducati is going be a real boost and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the 2002-spec bikes.

"Next season there will only really be three teams likely to win races and I'll be riding for one of them. HM Plant Ducati is the best team in the paddock and I'm glad that I'll have the opportunity to compete with them for another two years. I've really enjoyed having Neil as team-mate and I'll be sorry to see him go. That said, if I can continue to improve at the rate I have done, I'll be aiming to beat him at some point!"

"James is a valuable asset for HM Plant Ducati," explained Team Manager Colin Wright, "so we're obviously delighted that he will be riding for us for the next two seasons. His talent is undeniable and his commitment to the team has been second-to-none. After the way he's performed this season we had no doubts about whether to extend his contract and we're all very much looking forward to working with him in the future."