Ducati WSB: Althea goes, Checa stays

Italian giant splits from collaborator Althea Racing heading into the 2013 WSB season

DUCATI has announced it will end it's collaboration with Althea Racing for the 2013 WSB season, but will retain Carlos Checa on the new 1199 Panigale.

Checa won the 2011 World Superbike Championship on a 1198. Although Ducati is yet to confirm the entirety of it's WSB strategy for 2013 (details to be released in the coming days), it has announced that the Spaniard will assist development of the new Ducati 1199 Panigale in readiness for it's World Superbike debut.

The relationship between Ducati and Althea, lasting three years, has been fruitful. With Ducati's full withdrawal from the championship at the end of the 2010 season, Althea stepped into their shoes - receiving the support of the factory during the 2011-2012 season. Between 2010 and 2012, they succeeded in winning the 2011 Manufacturers’ and Riders’ Superbike World Championship, as well as the 2011 Manufacturers’ and Riders’ titles of the Superstock series.

In an official statement, Ducati announced that '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.'

Team boss Genesio Bevilacqua of Althea said that Ducati - despite the presence of monied backers Audi - were not prepared to invest heavily in the Panigale project in 2013. Differences over funding appear to have caused the split.

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