Moto Rapido Ducati have today (Wednesday) released their line up with Scott Smart and Abdulaziz Binladen set to race the all-new 1199 Panigales in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
The Winchester-based team will be supported by Ducati Corse and will begin to prepare the new bikes with Smart's vast technical knowledge.
Smart is a former 250cc British champion and BSB race winner, who last year was an Evo race victor and a regular podium finisher in the BSB Evo class. He has also celebrated victories in the Qatar International Road Racing Championship, where he has been fighting off his new team-mate Binladen for the wins.
Smart said: "I've been looking forward to this season since the new rules were first mentioned. All the bikes are basically the same, save for some idiosyncrasies here and there so it is all down to the rider, the tyre and the conditions. As always, the fast riders will be fast but we aren't constrained by not having expensive electronics anymore. Everyone is in the same boat in terms of machinery and that's really exciting."
Binladen added: "I'm very proud to take part in BSB. This season, history will be made with the first collaboration between a Saudi (Saudi Falcons Racing) and a British racing team and I do understand that this is going to be a challenge for me. I will do my very best to learn as much and as fast as I can, I'm also confident that I have a great team and good support behind me which will make my job easier."
Team owner Steve Moore concluded: "The playing field for 2012 is level and it has never been more level in the history of the series. We have one of the most experienced riders on the grid who is also a British champion. With Ducati's help and the backing of our main sponsor Solent Scientific, there is no reason we can't be giving last year's frontrunners a hard time. The move up to the BSB championship is a big one and something I am very proud of. We were very happy to become an Elite team for 2012. The new team rules require us to have two riders, this has sparked several partnerships already. This is great progress, There are many teams who would normally be restricted to just one rider who are now joining resources and expertise to become stronger and more stable. For us, the Saudi Falcons team partnership was an ideal solution and allowed us to progress the team. We welcome their rider."