The team currently runs two Superstars of Superbike, Max Biaggi (on his way to Aprilia next year) and Ruben Xaus (on his way to BMW) and needed a known quantity, particularly one with winning Ducati experience, to replace riders of that caliber. Xaus has won a race for the team in 2008, in what is something approaching a satellite Ducati operation, with close links to the home factory.
Byrne, 32, who won the British Superbike Championship for the second time on Sunday, has opted to head to World Superbike and not carry on with his current GSE Racing team, who will stay in British Superbike next year to run Yamaha’s revamped racing operation in the UK.
Byre was also British Superbike Champion in 2003, a season in which he secured a winning wildcard double at the Brands Hatch World Superbike round.
Said Byrne, “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the Sterilgarda Go Eleven team to participate in the 2009 WSB championship; it’s the perfect progression for me having secured the 2008 BSB championship last weekend at Silverstone on very similar Ducati machinery. Any team that can run riders of Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus’ standard can only be at the top of their game.”
Byrne’s teammate is expected to be former Superstock Champion Alessandro Polita, who already rides for Sterilgarda in the Superstock FIM Cup.