Eugene Laverty will remain in the World Superbike championship after securing a new Ducati Panigale V4 seat with the Go Eleven team.

The Irishman - top Aprilia rider with two podiums, a pole position and eighth overall in this year's standings - had been rocked by the news he would not be part of the future SMR BMW project.

But a deal has now been put together that will see Go Eleven return to Ducati machinery, with which it entered the world championship (in Sterilgarda colours, with Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus) in 2008, and run Laverty as a single entry.

Laverty last raced Ducati machinery in MotoGP during 2016, when he took a best race finish of fourth.

"I’m delighted to join Team Go Eleven to ride the new Ducati Panigale V4 R in 2019!" said Laverty, a winner of 13 WorldSBK races. "The past five weeks have been a stressful period so it’s great to secure a competitive seat in the end.

"The support from Ducati is reassuring and I’m confident that we will have a package to fight for victory next season. Thank you to Denis Sacchetti and everyone at Team Go Eleven for putting their trust in me!"

Team Manager Denis Sacchetti added: "I am very excited and happy, we worked hard for this project and at the end we did it! Ducati is the Italian dream of every motorcyclist, I saw the bike and it is awesome! After the first test the riders only expressed positive opinions and praises.

"Laverty is a very strong rider that I admire a lot. It is an honour and a great fortune to be able to work with him, I think that this year we will have a lot to learn and entertain. With Eugene I immediately found the agreement, the intentions are common, I felt in him the desire and the right motivations to accept such an important challenge. I cannot wait to start!"

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"With great satisfaction last night we signed the agreement with Eugene Laverty, a rider with great experience, fast and winning," said team principal Gianni Ramello. "With him we put the icing on the cake!

"Eugene believed in our project and in our growth; not all the riders of this calibre would have agreed to go to a private team and get back into the game! We will have a great responsibility, it is a new experience for us, a crowning of 10 years of commitment in the Superbike World Championship.

"I have to personally thank Ducati Corse, Paolo Ciabatti and [Gigi] Dall'Igna that have worked a lot to make us have a bike. We will try our best not to disappoint them!

"I also want to thank Dorna and Gregorio Lavilla who gave us the imput and believed in our desire to make a qualitative leap."

The return to Ducati means the end of Go Eleven's partnership with Kawasaki and Roman Ramos, who was 16th overall in this year's world championship.

"Special thanks must also be given to Kawasaki, a brand for which we have ridden for eight years, but, as often happens, you have to try new roads and new emotions, it's part of the racing DNA, it's never a farewell, we have other things planned," Ramello said.

"With regret, unfortunately, I must say goodbye and thank Roman [Ramos], a really nice and simple guy, a great rider who has given us huge satisfactions. Unfortunately it was not possible to keep him with us, I would have gladly done it, I have always had a special feeling with him.

"The Team does not forget it and it is not said that in the near future our paths can meet again, it will be my personal commitment. Now I wish him so much luck, he deserves it, with all my heart!"

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