Klaffi Honda team principal, Klaus Klaffenbock, is hoping that Alex Barros' debut World Superbike victory will convince the Brazilian to stick with his team next season.

"We are very happy!" Klaffenbock told Crash.net Radio at Imola on Sunday evening. "It's the first success for the Klaffi Honda Team, even in 600 we hadn't won, so it is a wonderful feeling and it was great to be up on the podium - there is always a very special atmosphere at Imola.

"The plan is to try to continue with Alex next season and also to have a second rider in the team," he added, when asked about the future. "This is my plan and we have some interesting meetings coming up and I hope we can finish everything and can sign with Alex."

Barros took his breakthrough victory after storming from eighth on the grid to lead by the halfway mark, then continued unchallenged to the chequered flag. Despite another poor start in race two, which left him down in eleventh, the 35-year-old former MotoGP star came within 1.4secs of beating Troy Bayliss for a repeat victory.

However, that competitiveness hasn't yet convinced Barros to sign: "I don't know," he replied, when Crash.net Radio asked about his plans for next season. "I hope I can decide something real soon, but at the moment there is nothing concrete."

The Brazilian is sure to retain Honda backing, but is rumoured to be considering switching to a more experienced team such as Ten Kate. As such, Klaffenbock is eager to prove that Alex can achieve his world title ambitions by staying where he is: "For us it's important to show that the team is good enough to win races and that Alex can win races," he stressed.

Klaffi then confirmed that the late addition of Barros' former MotoGP crew chief Ramon Forcada - who has been combining Honda LCR duties with helping Barros from Assen in early September onwards - has been a significant factor in their recent success. "I think that was one of the key things because we haven't changed anything on the bike," revealed Klaffi. "(Forcada) has known Alex for a long, long time and this allowed him to close the small gap to the (race winning) riders."

Meanwhile, there is more to come from the Klaffi Honda package with the new Fireblade traction control system, jointly developed by Honda's leading WSBK teams, close to being race ready. "The (traction control) electronics worked ok here but at the end of Friday I decided to take it out because we still needed to fix other things," explained Barros. "I wanted to concentrate on the correct race set-up and tyres rather than spend time on electronics."

As well as his 1-2 race finishes at Imola, Barros has taken three further second place finishes and one third position to sit fifth in the riders' world championship standings, with just Sunday's Magny Cours round to go. Barros now needs to gain just eight points on Yamaha's Andrew Pitt to take a creditable fourth in the end of season standings.