29 October 2014
WSBK Qatar: Althea Ducati announces Terol, Baiocco for WSBK 2015
Former 125GP champion Nico Terol will move from Moto2 to the World Superbike Championship in 2015, joining Matteo Baiocco at Althea Ducati.
Althea Racing has confirmed it will expand to a two Ducati entry for the 2015 World Superbike Championship after signing Moto2 race winner Nico Terol and two-time Italian Superbike champion Matteo Baiocco.
The Italian team, which spearheaded Carlos Checa's WSBK title win in 2011, returned to the Ducati stable in 2014 with a single EVO-specification entry for Niccolo Canepa, but will swell to a two-man effort in 2015 with the 1199 Panigale R.
Leading its challenge will be former 125GP champion and three-time Moto2 race winner Terol, who moves over to WSBK looking to revitalise his fortunes after a disappointing 2014 season in the intermediate GP class.
”I'm very happy about this opportunity with Team Althea. I'm lucky to be coming to a championship such as Superbike that I have always followed closely, and with a very experienced Team that knows how to win.
It's great to be able to debut with a bike like the Ducati. This period has been very difficult for me, so I consider the move to Superbike as a chance to start over. I've never lost the desire to compete against others and fight for the win.
“I thank Genesio Bevilacqua and Team Althea for having chosen me for their Team. In the past I have worked with Gigi Dall'Igna who is now part of Ducati's top management; he is a person who has always respected me. I can't wait to get on my new bike and begin this new adventure.”
The experienced Baiocco, meanwhile, will return to the WSBK ranks in 2015 five years after his last full season in 2010 on the Pedercini Kawasaki. The Ducati test rider is looking forward to getting back to international competition.
“I'm really pleased to have reached an agreement with Genesio Bevilacqua and with Team Althea. Becoming part of such a successful Team is a very important opportunity for me to put all of my experience from recent years, in national championships and in the development of the Panigale SBK with Ducati, into practice.
“I feel ready for this new challenge and believe that this opportunity has come at the right time for me. I can't wait to start working with my new team, in order to find the right harmony and arrive competitive at next season's opening race.”
Labelling the all-new rider line-up as a 'team relaunch', Althea manager Genesio Bevilacqua is delighted with the combination of youth and experience from his riders.
“The 2015 season represents a relaunch for Team Althea and, having dominated with Ducati for three years in the reigning class, the Team has decided to focus on two experienced riders. Nico Terol is a rider with great talent and we believe that a Team like ours can help bring him the success that he deserves; his true value has not been appreciated.
“Matteo is a rider who I know well, he is extremely experienced and knows the bike better than anyone else so I am sure that this can be a fundamental year for his career. Thanks to collaboration with Ducati management, who we thank for the trust they have put in us, we have the privilege of taking top class bikes, with which we have always been able to perform at the highest level, back on the track.”
It is not known where Canepa, who is set to finish second in the WSBK EVO standings, will race in 2015.
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