Carlos Checa Re-Signs with Althea Ducati…Finally

10/17/2011 @ 12:03 pm, by Jensen Beeler7 COMMENTS

Carlos Checa Re Signs with Althea Ducati...Finally Carlos Checa Althea Ducati WSBK Portimao 635x441

Good news for Carlos Checa, as the Althea Ducati race team has finally extended the reigning-World Superbike Champion a contract for the 2012 season. Recently, Checa was in the precarious position of having clinched the 2011 World Superbike Championship, and yet had no contract for the 2012 season. Stuck in the tug-of-war between Althea Racing and Ducati Corse, as well as the scandal currently gripping Althea Ceramics, Checa’s future with the Ducati squad was in question to such an extent that the BMW Italia team offered the Spaniard €800,000 to ride one of its BMW S1000RRs in 2012.

Checa had to respond to the offer by the end of Saturday, and come Sunday no announcement was made. Now we know the reason why, as the Althea Ducati has announced signing Carlos Checa again for the 2012 season. Presumably getting a swift kick to the ass, Ducati Corse is reported to have stepped in to ensure the retainment of the veteran motorcycle racer, though details of the deal and the company’s involvement in the process have not been made clear.

Althea Racing had been negotiating with Ducati Corse for support in the 2012 season, saying the team would be unable to compete in World Superbike unless the factory helped them. Planning instead to race in the World Superstock series, Althea was able to bend the Italian company’s will enough to ensure another season in World Superbike; and more importantly, another season with Carlos Checa at the helm of the Ducati Superbike 1198R.

“This weekend has been very special,” said a delighted Checa at Portimão. “Before Race 1 it looked like there was no way that I could stay with Althea Racing in 2012 and I was very upset about this but now it seems that Althea Racing and Ducati have come to an agreement and I am over the moon to hear that I can stay with my team and with my bike again next year. We have built something very special here and to leave would have been heartbreaking. More than a win, today has been a moral victory – in the space of two days I have lost, and thankfully regained my team.”

Source: Althea Ducati; Photo: WorldSBK

Comment:

  1. Other Sean says:

    Now, I assume they’ll run the new 1199? Or might they somehow stick with the old girl? I know a few satellite squads ran the 998 even during the 999’s first year.

    I have friends speculating that Ducati will field a factory team again next year with Troy Bayliss on the new Panigale. However this is just idle, mouthwatering speculation.

  2. Westward says:

    It has already been reported that they will run the same bike next year, and let the new 1199 run in Superstock… Smart move, one should not change a winning formula…

  3. Ken C. says:

    Doesn’t Carlos Checa run on a 1098 due to displacement regulations?

  4. Ducati has been clear it will run the 1198 in WSBK next year, and the 1199 Panigale in WSTK (WSBK in 2013).

    Checa runs a 1198 bike, which had the designation of 1098R for sometime. Always the same displacement though, as WSBK allows for twins under 1200cc.

  5. digfoto says:

    Just GLAD to see Checa is back on Anthea Ducati for 2012! I just wish Ducati (corporate) would give more attention to WSBK from here on out.

  6. Damo says:

    @digfoto

    You would thing Ducati would back WSBK more than MotoGP. Especially since WSBK has traditionally been their most successful racing endeavors. They have won SBK 14 times (I think) and MotoGP once.

    I just don’t get it.

  7. Woody says:

    MotoGP is a much larger market. Racing’s about selling bikes, and winning sells bikes. It doesn’t matter that the only thing the bike has in common with your product is the name, if it’s on the podium, it’ll sell.