Having spent 2006 on the sidelines, following his bitter split from the factory Honda MotoGP team, Biaggi rejuvenated his career in World Superbikes this year - taking a close third in the championship, with three wins and 17 podiums to his credit.

But the 36-year-old's future was suddenly thrown into doubt when it was confirmed that he would not ride for Alstare Suzuki next season. With the leading WSBK seats already allocated, Biaggi seemed desperately short of competitive options - and was briefly linked with a MotoGP return.

However, news of a factory-backed WSBK Ducati soon emerged, with 2005 BSB champion's GSE Racing rumoured to be running the Roman. That was subsequently denied, but the 1098R seat proved correct and Biaggi has now been confirmed alongside Ruben Xaus at Sterilgarda Ducati.

"It seems a good opportunity to me," Biaggi told his official website. "The team has guaranteed we'll have high-level technicians and the structure is growing, considering that next year the team will have two riders. Unfortunately we won't be testing at the end of November in Qatar, but we hope to be on track within the first week of December at Vallelunga or Valencia. I am motivated for this new adventure and riding a Ducati has always been my dream!"

Biaggi's deal is also a boost for WSBK, which enjoyed a thrilling 2007 season with five different riders - representing four different manufacturers - taking at least one race win and a three-way title showdown at the Magny-Cours season finale.

Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland took the crown by just two points from Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga, with Biaggi a further 16 points behind. Toseland will move to MotoGP in 2008, when Ducati will debut its new 1200cc 1098R racer.

 

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