Alstare: out if Suzuki leave

Francis Batta to maintain close relationship with Suzuki

THERE was talk that the Francis Batta run Alstare squad was in line to takeover the official Kawasaki team for next season, but an open statement on their website said if Suzuki were to leave they would follow.

From mid-season last year the team were in contention for the championship against Aprilia's Max Biaggi and then a sudden lack of support from the Hamamatsu factory resulted in struggles for Leon Haslam, who eventually finished a distant second to Biaggi.

This year Alstare dropped to one rider, mirroring the problems faced by the Suzuki MotoGP team, with Michel Fabrizio as the lone GSX-R1000 in the series. Performance wise the Roman has been on the podium at Monza and a bunch of top-five finishes, making the most out of the current situation.

A pale comparison to the former glories of the Alstare team, with six World championships to their name and on a Suzuki machines; WSB in 2005 with Troy Corser, three World Supersport overall wins from Fabrizio Pirovano and Stéphane Chambon and two Superstock 1000 titles from Vittorio Iannuzzo and Michel Fabrizio.

With 13 years working with Suzuki there was news that Francis Batta's team was linked to taking the factory Kawasaki ZX-10Rs from Paul Bird Motorsports in 2012, the team released an official statement to calm the rumour-mill revealing that they would remain committed to Suzuki and should they withdraw from WSB they would follow.

The statement from Alstare:

Alstare team manager Francis Batta would like to clarify his position regarding current speculation about 2012.

Francis Batta and Alstare have been involved with Suzuki for the best part of thirteen years and this tremendous relationship has given to everybody an immense amount of satisfaction. The strong relationship was forged right from the very beginning and has grown throughout the years and is one that Francis values very highly. Francis has been a loyal supporter of Suzuki and it is for this reason that he would like to continue with them alone in the future. If Suzuki decides not to take part in the World Superbike Championship next year, Francis will also stop rather than continue with another manufacturer.

Ducati dropping it's official effort this year, Yamaha announcing their withdrawal for 2012 and Suzuki currently undecided. What's happening to motorcycle racing?