The Ducati Marlboro Team have reached an agreement with Casey Stoner to take part in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship, with an option for the following year.
The start of a new era for MotoGP, which will see 800 cc bikes taking the place of the 990 cc powered machines, also marks the start of a fresh chapter in Ducati.
Following the first positive tests carried out with the Desmosedici GP7, the Borgo Panigale-based team are looking to the future with confidence and have decided to offer an opportunity to the talented young Australian.
With the benefit of Loris Capirossi's enormous experience and the support of the entire team, Casey can now get to grips with the new technical package that will be made available to him and fully demonstrate the great talent that he has already expressed this year on his debut in the top category.
"I am really happy to have been given this opportunity to race with the Ducati Marlboro Team next year. Ducati have made a lot of progress in the last couple of years and I think they can also do a great job with the new 800.
It's a great privilege for me to be Loris Capirossi's team-mate. I watched him race before I started my career and now it's a real honour to be in the same team as him on the same bike.
Finally I'd like to thank Lucio Cecchinello. We have worked well together over the years but I feel that the possibility of racing in a factory team is the best thing for my future".
Claudio Domenicali (Ducati Corse Managing Director and Ducati Director of Product Development);
"It's always nice to welcome someone to our large family but it is just as difficult to say goodbye to someone who leaves. We are at the end of a season that has given us great satisfaction but which on the other hand has proved to have been particularly difficult for Sete. Despite his devotion and his undoubted talent, a number of factors have prevented him from obtaining the results to live up to everyone's expectations. Our heartfelt thanks go out to him for his commitment and professionalism and we wish him all the best for his future.
I am delighted to welcome Casey to Ducati. He is a very promising rider, with talent and determination in abundance. We are sure that with the help of our and Loris's experience, he will get to know our bike and his experience will mature in line with the development of the GP7. With his enthusiasm and aggressive riding style, Casey is sure to give our fans some extraordinary emotions, in the best spirit of Ducati".