Andrea Iannone will return to racing in the WorldSBK Championship next year after agreeing terms with Go Eleven Ducati, his first deal since being banned from competition for four years.
The Italian - nicknamed both 'Crazy Joe' and 'The Maniac' - will replace Philipp Oettl on the privateer Ducati Panigale V4 R
It will be his first competitive outing to follow on from the end of a four-year suspension for failing a routine drugs test towards the end of the 2019 MotoGP season.
After initially being handed an 18-month sentence that would have concluded mid-way through the 2021 MotoGP season, a subsequent appeal by Iannone was rejected and superseded by a counter-appeal from the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) that successfully got it extended to a maximum four years.
Though he was competing with Aprilia at the time, it is with Ducati that Iannone enjoyed his race-winning success in MotoGP, a relationship he will reignite now in WorldSBK.
After such a prolonged period on the sidelines, during which Iannone wasn't permitted to participate in anything more than track days with a road going machine, Iannone says he cannot wait to get back on track.
“I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, I'm finally back on track, where I spent my life. I thank Gigi Dall'Igna, Paolo Ciabatti, Claudio Domenicali, Marco Zambenedetti and the whole GoEleven team for their trust.
"With their support I have rediscovered the enthusiasm I had as a child. Special thanks also to the WorldSBK family for the opportunity. I'm fully excited."
Iannone is the 15th rider to be confirmed to the 2024 WorldSBK grid, while he is also the third assured rookie to be debuting together with Nicolo Bulega at Aruba.it Racing Ducati and Sam Lowes in the new Marc VDS Racing Ducati team.