You can’t keep a good race team down, as talk in the World Superbike paddock this week has been swirling around the Alstare Racing team. One of several teams to be on the receiving end of Suzuki’s withdrawal from the major racing series, Alstare found its factory-support from Suzuki draw to a close at the conclusion of the 2011 WSBK Championship season. We use the words “factory support” loosely of course, as Alstare Suzuki had been developing the Suzuki GSX-R1000 almost exclusively in-house, receiving only production OEM parts from Suzuki when needed.
As Suzuki shut its doors to WSBK and MotoGP racing, in the hopes of saving money to buy its stock back from minority shareholder Volkswagen (among other things), the Alstare Team Principal Franics Batta vowed that he would race with the Japanese manufacturer, or not race at all. News then came out that linked Team Alstare to possibly taking over the Kawasaki Factory WSBK team, which would later be handed to World Supersport’s Provec Motocard Kawasaki team. Other rumors linked Batta as interested in campaigning with MV Agusta, though the Belgian team owner could not get a callback from Varese.
Progress has seemingly been made on that front though, as Alstare Racing is reportedly closing in on a deal with the Italian company to campaign an MV Agusta F3 in World Supersport, with the relationship possibly growing to include an MV Agusta F4 RR in a seaon’s time.
As we’ve noted, multiple times on this site, MV Agusta is in a precarious financial position. Unable to buy on credit from suppliers, and having a tough time finding loans from banks, the historic Italian brand may have a robust new line of motorcycles and an absence of overwhelming debt, but its financial struggles are far from over. Seemingly unable to foot the bill of racing on its own, this is perhaps why MV Agusta and Alstare are a perfect match for each other.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, Alstare Racing has already proven itself not only capable of racing at the pinnacle of production motorcycle racing, but the team has earned its stripes in racing with virtually non-existent factory support. The former-WSBK team has also tested its mettle in developing a racing platform on its own, a vital component to racing with MV Agusta. Not only would a team like Alstare have to employ the resources to develop a bike like the 2012 MV Agusta F3, but if history has proven anything with the Italian company’s machines, they are not honed track weapons out of the box.
This is likely the very pitch that Batta was able to make to MV Agusta, and now the Belgian says the two parties will have to wait and see where further talks take them. The Alstare boss hopes to have his 2012 season plans coming together by mid-January next year, but there is already considerable talk that rider Luca Scassa will bring his wealth of talent to the team’s World Supersport efforts.
If things do gel together, hopefully Alstare Racing will be able to fill the gaps of the talent that has already been poached from the team by other members of the World Superbike paddock. One thing is for certain though, this will be an interesting storyline to watch during the off-season, as we could see the return of one of WSBK’s more venerable teams, and one of racing’s more iconic names. In other news, and box of “Alstare Suzuki” parts landed in the UK this week.