Crash.Net WSBK News
Ducati to reveal 2014 WSBK plans ‘in a few days’
25 October 2013
Ducati says it is just days away from revealing its plans for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season following the announcement that it has ended its agreement with Team Alstare.
The Belgian-based Alstare operation, which won the 2005 title during a long and successful partnership with Suzuki, returned to WSBK competition in 2013 following a sabbatical to head up Ducati's factory-assisted efforts in the World Superbike Championship.
However, following a difficult season getting the new 1199 Panigale Superbike up to speed, the loss of a key partner means Alstare has been forced to end its original two-year agreement with Ducati early.
Despite this, Ducati is forging ahead with its plans for 2014, with rumours suggesting it has struck a deal with Feel Racing, the Bologna-based operation that ran Ducati's ultra-successful factory effort prior to the manufacturer's full-scale withdrawal in 2010.
As for the riders, former champion Ben Spies has reportedly been offered a lucrative deal for 2014 as a bargaining alternative to his faltering two-year MotoGP contract with Ducati, with Chaz Davies – who has raced under the Feel Racing-prepared BMW GoldBet team in 2013 – tipped to join him. Should Spies turn down the offer, Leon Camier has also been linked with the ride.
Whatever Ducati's plans for 2014, the year will be a critical one for the manufacturer as it seeks to turn its fortunes around after its worst season in World Superbikes, the Italian marque finishing last in the standings with just a single podium – achieved in the wet at Moscow – to its name.