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Checa tests Panigale as new deal looms

1 October 2012

Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano are expected to be confirmed as staying with the Althea Racing team next season after both riders completed another private test aboard the new-for-2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale Superbike

The Spaniard's future plans have been the subject of speculation in recent months following rumours he was being courted by both BMW and Kawasaki for 2013, but with those manufacturers having now confirmed their respective line-ups for next year, Checa is expected to stay with Althea and Ducati.

Such a deal is set to be announced during the final WSBK round of 2012 at Magny-Cours this weekend, a rumour that was given further credence when Checa revealed that he tested the Panigale at Misano as recently as last week.

The much vaunted replacement for the ultra-successful 1098R, the 1199 Panigale has spent more than a year in development, though this was only the second time Checa has ridden the machine.

Though it isn't known whether Ducati, who withdrew its factory support at the end of the 2010 season, will return in a full capacity next season or continue to provide assistance for 2011 champions Althea Racing, is likely that Checa will be joined again by promising rookie Davide Giugliano.

Despite the loss of an official factory Ducati team, Althea and Checa emerged as the runaway champions in 2011 with 15 race wins. However, a troublesome 2012 season has already seen the team cede its crown with one round remaining.


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