Sunday, October 3

SMRZ BACK ON DUCATI

CZECH rider Jakub Smrz is set to race a Ducati again in the 2011 Superbike World Championship. This follows the announcement that he is to join a new satellite Ducati team formed by the Liberty CZ Group.

In fact, Smrz has been signed to the team for two years, 2011 and 2012.

Liberty CZ Group's business interests include a chain of Italian food stores in the Czech Republic and Effenberg Beer, who is a partial sponsor of Smrz' current team, B&G Pata.

The new team, "Liberty Racing", will reportedly be headquartered in Prague with some familiar faces behind the scenes, including Natale Egi, who managed the Sterilgarda Ducati team that fielded Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus in 2008.

This season Smrz raced a Ducati for the B&G Pata team, which switched to an Aprilia RSV4 at the Brno round. But Smrz has taken a while to find form on the Italian V4, and his debut at Brno was marked by a series of crashes.

However, for the final round of the 2010 championship he managed to put it on the front row of a grid at Magny Cours, alongide pole man Cal Crutchlow, Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and Max Biaggi.