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Hodgson signs to ride Ducati Desmosedici with D'Antin

Hodgson signs to ride Ducati Desmosedici with D'Antin

Hodgson signs to ride Ducati Desmosedici with D'Antin

Luis d'Antin today announced a major double signing for his team after reaching an agreement with Ducati Corse and Neil Hodgson which will see the World Superbike Champion contest the 2004 MotoGP World Championship aboard a Desmosedici. The agreement marks the end of D'Antin's current relationship with Yamaha and increases Ducati's representation in the series to four bikes. Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss will continue representing the factory squad whilst Hodgson's team-mate is set to be announced in the near future.

"It is a very exciting challenge for me," said Hodgson, who will test the 990cc V4 machine for the first time in December. "I watched the free practice this morning from trackside and these bikes are very intimidating. They are very, very fast and unbelievably loud, but I spoke to Loris after the session and he says it is less scary to ride one than it is to watch! It will be difficult but not impossible to win races - that is why I am here. My only intention is to work very, very hard to get the maximum out of the bike and of myself."

D'Antin also revealed his delight at securing the services of what has quickly become one of the fastest machines in the category. "We are very pleased to begin this new adventure with Ducati," said the Spaniard. "We are certain that the arrival of the Desmosedici, which has proved to be a competitive bike in its debut season, will enable our team to achieve some brilliant results that will help contribute to the ever increasing spectacle in the top class of motorcycle racing."

MotoGP, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana

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