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Ducati confirms Althea split, Checa stays on
29 October 2012
Ducati has confirmed that it has ended its collaboration with 2011 World Superbike Championship winning team Althea Racing, but will continue with plans to enter Carlos Checa on the new 1199 Panigale.
Having been widely reported over the weekend, and seemingly confirmed by both Althea boss Genesio Bevilacqua and Ducati's Ernesto Marinelli, the manufacturer has gone ahead and formally announced that it will not be working with Althea in 2013.
As it stands, Ducati says it is yet to formalise its exact WSBK strategy, but does confirm that Checa will ride the new 1199 Panigale Superbike next season.
“Ducati is finalising its plans for the 2013 World Superbike Championship, both in the development of the 1199 Panigale and how it will participate in the series,” read the official statement.
“The company has already confirmed the renewal of its contract with Carlos Checa, who won the 2011 World Superbike Championship on a Ducati 1198, and the Spanish rider will now continue development of the new Ducati 1199 Panigale ready for its World Superbike debut year.
“After three years of constructive cooperation, the relationship between Ducati and Team Althea Racing will now come to an end. The cooperation from 2010 to 2012 reached major sporting achievements, including winning the 2011 Manufacturers' and Riders' Superbike World Championship in addition to the 2011 Manufacturers' and Riders' titles of the Superstock series.
“Despite both parties' intention to continue the collaboration, an agreement, which meets the requirements of both Team Althea Racing and the Bologna-based manufacturer's management, has not been found for 2013.
“However, the exceptionally good relationship that Ducati has enjoyed with Team Althea Racing, combined with the friendship and gratitude towards team owner, Genesio Bevilacqua, for his continuing efforts and loyalty during these years, means that other forms of cooperation between Ducati and Team Althea could still be found in the future.
“With Ducati's 2013 plans now almost finalised, more details will be released in the next few days.”
Following Ducati's full withdrawal at the end of the 2010 season, Althea Racing was promoted to 'de facto' manufacturer status and would receive some assistance from the factory during 2011 and 2012. Althea Ducati and Checa duly romped to the 2011 title with 15 race wins, while Davide Giugliano was also Superstock 1000 Cup winner.
Prior to this confirmation, Bevilacqua had cited disagreements over Ducati's financial commitment to the World Superbike programme and the role of Giugliano (who is under an Althea contract, unlike Checa on a Ducati contract).
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