Althea Racing has confirmed it will not continue its FIM Superstock 1000 programme this season after a difficult start to its defence campaign.

Althea swept to title glory in 2011 with Davide Giugliano, but with the Italian graduating to the World Superbike Championship to form an expanded two-man line-up, the team wasn't initially planning to compete in both series.

Nonetheless, after Federico Sandi saw his original SSTK 1000 deal with Effenbert Liberty Ducati fall through shortly before the start of the season, his close relationship with Althea Racing prompted Genesio Bevilacqua to hastily form a team for him.

However, the swift turnaround, coupled to niggles with the brand-new Ducati 1199 Panigale has prompted a re-think just two rounds into the season, with Bevilacqua admitting the team cannot sustain a full programme.

"The fondness that the Althea team has for Federico encouraged us to put together, with the help of Ducati, a bike and team in little more than a couple of weeks and we were thus able to participate in the first two races of the season," he said.

"The amount of work and effort that this activity requires means that we are unfortunately unable to continue with this project, that we had not planned for, for the entire season. We really wanted to do more but we are nevertheless aware that we have given Federico significant support at a time when our sector is suffering."