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WSBK: Xaus returns to World Superbikes


by Flagworld

2003 World Superbike runner-up, Ruben Xaus, will return to the championship in 2006 - following two years in MotoGP - after signing to ride Ducati 999FO4s for the newly formed Sterilgarda Berik team, alongside Marco Borciani.


The signing has been reported by the official World Superbike website, and means that Xaus will seek to rebuild his career after enduring a nightmare 2005 season at the Fortuna backed Tech 3 Yamaha team.

Xaus - who clinched the 2004 MotoGP rookie of the year title by finishing 11th in the championship, with a podium finish, for d'Antin Ducati - managed just 16th in the 2005 standings after failing to adjust to the YZR-M1 and being comprehensively outperformed by rookie team-mate Toni Elias.

The 27-year-old Spaniard will therefore be seeking to revive his 2003 WSBK form, when he took seven race wins for the factory Ducati team to finish as closest rival to runaway championship winner, and team-mate, Neil Hodgson.

Xaus had been rumoured to be nearing a deal to ride Ducatis for the SC Caracchi team, which took Lorenzo Lanzi to victory at the Magny Cours season finale.

However, that squad has now confirmed it will not field an SBK entry next year and will instead concentrate on the World Supersport championship with Australian Josh Brookes and Slovenian Luka Nedog.

Xaus is the second MotoGP rider to move back to World Superbikes for 2006, after former factory Ducati WSBK team-mate Troy Bayliss signed for Ducati Xerox.