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Brett McCormick steps up to WSBK

Plans to run Troy Bayliss fall through, but Effenbert Liberty still expands to four WSBK bikes by signing Brett McCormick.

Effenbert Liberty Racing has revealed that it planned to bring triple World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss out of retirement for select events in 2012.

But the deal fell through and the budget will instead be used to run Canadian Brett McCormick on a fourth Ducati 1198 from round two at Imola onwards.

"The Effenbert company believes in motorsport and its use as the most powerful promotional engine so much that it was in their contemplation to run a Liberty Racing bike with legendary Troy Bayliss on a couple of occasions this season. They had a strong desire to give him the opportunity to ride as a wild-card in a few races," said team owner Mario Bertuccio.

"Unfortunately, as we all know, this intention was not fulfilled successfully for various reasons. At this point, the possibility has vanished completely and Effenbert decided to reconsider other options of further investments in the team, with regard to the budget, which eventually resulted in the decision to engage a fourth permanent rider for the entire 2012 season. This decision is also promising something very interesting."

As rumoured McCormick, contracted to compete alongside Federico Sandi in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup this year on a Ducati Panigale 1199, thus joins existing Effenbert Liberty WSBK riders Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger.

"My dream has always been to race in SBK and now that I have this opportunity," said McCormick. "I will give it everything on the track. Recently, I've been studying and memorising the circuits, which obviously I do not know well, so that when the D-day comes, I am prepared as much as I can.

"It is going to be a very challenging season for me since I'm about to face many experienced riders. This is undoubtedly a great way to learn and grow, and I will always try to be in the leading group!"

Bertuccio added: "The incentive to promote McCormick in Superbike is consistent with our philosophy of helping to bring up young talents. We truly have the highest respect for the Canadian rider, and we trust him as we are certain that he can pay us back on the track. This is an important choice.

"There are only a few teams in SBK who have decided to increase the budget for the current season and our route makes us day after day even more proud and confident about the potential of the team.

"Federico Sandi remains the Effenbert Liberty Racing Team's ace in Superstock and I am sure he will give us very good results riding the competitive Panigale 1199. Our active engagement in this direction remains intact."

42-year-old Bayliss, also a MotoGP race winner, retired from WSBK after winning his third title for Ducati at the end of 2008. The Australian, who briefly tried V8 Supercar racing, continues to test sporadically for Ducati, fuelling rumours of a comeback.

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