WSBK: Althea Racing and Ducati Corse Part Ways

10/28/2012 @ 6:29 am, by Jensen Beeler18 COMMENTS

In a surprise move, Althea Racing and Ducati Corse have parted ways in their World Superbike collaboration. The news sees Carlos Checa remaining with Ducati Corse and on the Ducati 1199 Panigale, though the Spaniard has no team behind him. Meanwhile, Althea Racing will retain #2 man Davide Giugliano, but will have to begin a search for a new manufacturer.

The issue under contention is the level of support Ducati Corse was willing to give the team, as Team Principal Genesio Bevilacqua has said to several Italian publications that Ducati was willing to give about as much support in 2013 as it did in 2012, which wasn’t a lot.

Left to develop the Ducati 1199 Panigale on its own, a large feat given the rumors that the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13 is not up to par for racing duty, Althea Racing is said to have balked at the idea of having to do all the heavy-lifting while Ducati reaps all the reward, and rightfully so.

While an official response from Ducati Corse is said to be forthcoming, it is said that the company’s main reservation in developing the Panigale itself is the upcoming rules for the 2014 season, which could see World Superbike become closer to World Superstock in the spec of the machines.

With the Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13 needing significant levels of money and resources to be a title contender, Ducati, and its new owner Audi, are allegedly having a hard time justifying the potentially single-year reward for that expense.

While the dust is still settling on this news, it raises serious question marks for Ducati in the 2013 World Superbike Championship. Will the Italian brand be represented at all in the coming season? Will Ducati Corse field a factory team of its own? Could it pick-up the pieces of the Liberty Racing Squad? Could Althea and Ducati Corse still reconcile? And what of Carlos Checa? Davide Tardozzi? And the competitiveness of the Panigale?

Ducati 1199 Panigale RS13:

Source: GPone &

  • Cpt.Slow

    I can’t say I’m too surprised about the bike. Although the team breaking up is a surprise.

  • WetMan

    I guess the T- Rex that took that bite out of its rear end did manage to mortally wound it.

  • Silas

    Ducati, the John Deere of motorcycles.

    Not going well at all in MotoGP. New bike not up to racing spec and possible they won’t even race in WSBK. 2014 rolls around and Max (or whoever replaces him) is on the new RSV4 which will apparently make 200HP in street guise. Suppose there’s always the Diavel which I hear comes with a free pair of assless chaps.

  • MikeD


    Stick to racing Super Stock 1000 ? Wait and see what are the changes coming ? Have Checa join the SuperStock team effort only for 2013 ?

    I can see where both Althea and Ducati are coming from….i can’t blame them.

    How come the machine is not good enough ? By what i saw this year it was doing pretty good. It migth not be right there eyebrow to eyebrow with the I4s but is competitive (they still walk away from it sligthly on the straights)…enough to place 2nd in the Championship.

    New RSV4 ? ! WHERE, WHERE ? ! (Mouth Foaming)…hope she stays small and lite on her toes.

  • Superlight

    Not so fast, gentlemen. Don’t be so quick counting Ducati out, especially in WSBK. Think about it. Those who wanted the Panigale because of its new bike hype have already bought theirs. If Ducati wants continued sales on that machine they will have to be successful in racing. They’ll find a way to race the Panigale in WSBK.

  • Run a factory team with Checa and call it a day.. Sure we’ll see the bike running up front with the RSV4 and company…

  • sburns2421

    No Ducati in WSBK and a factory team unable to crack the top 5 in the dry in MotoGP? Ducati should realize thier reputation is built on racing. Without successfully racing they are just another motorcycle manufacturer.

  • voodoovaj

    That chassis design proved a massive failure in motogp. Ducati bet the farm that it would work on the Panigale, and apparently it doesn’t. The 1098R didn’t need a bunch of time to become competetive since it was built from known quantities. Without racing success, there is no reason to own a Ducati. I wonder if Audi understands that or if they will let the brand die through ignorance.

  • Superlight

    voodoo, I don’t think we know yet if the Panigale chassis design is a success or failure. Certainly I think Ducati needs to prove it works by making the Panigale WSBK successful.

  • Silas

    MikeD – Biaggi let it slip a month or so ago at a press conference.

  • Silas

    And of course, Honda have announced a V4 as well.

  • ” Without successfully racing they are just another motorcycle manufacturer.”

    Sure, but with the Diavel and a pair of assless chaps (thanks for the giggle, Silas), they’ll still sell a gazillion bikes in North America. Not many North American riders think about racing beyond NASCAR. The rest of the world would notice. North Americans? Not so much.

  • smiler

    Wait a minute. The Panigale came a very close 2nd in superstocks. So clearly the chassis is fine. The test Checa made also seemed to go well as well.
    It has received great reviews. Altea is a satelite team. It has been entered in WSb for 2013. Ducati is no longer a small manufacturer producing 20,000 bikes and reliant on 2 models. It is now a global manufacturer. Its sales are spead over more markets. Audi still hasn’t let its intentions be known publically. And there are what 7 months until the start of 2013 season.
    Aprilia have farted about for many years in WSb and failed completely in MotoGP. Ducati have 2 titles in MotoGP.
    The fact that finally they have a bike riden by, clearly one of the best riders WSB has ever had, is good. But that does not affect Ducati.
    So I cannot see why Checa or another would not be entered on a factory bike. Audi is not short of money and being German they have a habit of making things work. Look at the 911, started off as the Beetle with engine in the worst place for a car…….

  • SuperD

    I could not agree more with smiler.

    Well said.

    and Happy 4th birthday to this great blog!

  • Silas

    Smiler, what you say is of course 100% true and I’m sure the previous successes that Ducati had in MotoGP and WSBK with Carl, did a lot to shift bikes. However, that is in the past. What they are currently facing is the best rider the world has ever known, saying he has no chance of winning on a Ducati in MotoGP in the next two years and Ducati themselves not wanting to invest in the Panigale in current form to take it to WSBK spec with the (likely) upcoming changes in 2014.

    The issue for Ducati is, in 2014, the Panigale will not be facing the 2009 RSV4 or the 2008 Fireblade. It will be a brand spanking new Aprilia, V4 Honda, probably a new 3 pot Yamaha and already the Ninja looks damn good.

    There is a much wider spread of rider ability in Superstock and the bike plays nowhere near the role it plays in WSBK. The truth IMO is that Ducati want to invest in getting the Panigale right for 2014 and will leave the cost of a 2013 pure SBK up to the teams.

    Along with the Audi purchase come the stricter financial controls. I don’t see it being a purchase for them to suddenly chuck in millions of dollars so the lads in Bologna can continue to swan around the world losing races.

  • Cpt.Slow

    Ducati factory 2013- just Carlos. Shame, because Davide is a talent!

  • Faust

    I really don’t think people should compare the GP chassis to this one and claim that it’s a failure. They are structurally different, and it’s just not the same bike. If someone has a twin spar chassis that doesn’t work well with a specific spec tire, then that doesn’t mean that all twin spars would then be suspect. This is not the same bike, and some more time is needed to see what will happen before people just arbitrarily write off a bike that is still in the development phase.

  • J


    A few comments:

    1: Correction to Smiler- Ducati only has 1 MotoGP title. (not picking a fight here, just correcting!)

    2: Both Parties have very fair reasons for the split

    3: Superbikes are VERY far from Superstock. Their marketing is working if we all believe they are similar, but trust me they are not at all. Hence why the 1199 is solid in Superstock but isn’t ready for SBK. If there is one thing Ducati knows about, it is developing these things so when they say it isn’t ready then it really must not be ready.

    4: Carlos is over the age limit for Superstock so we won’t see him there. Pure speculation but I’d venture him to be the best possible MotoGP test/development rider (albeit expensive!) that Ducati could hire…

    5: This is an real conundrum as Audi can’t just cut a check and put a bike on the grid. Ducati does not have a workshop, trucks, mechanics or any other infrastructure in place. (they can’t just bleed off the MotoGP project) Feel Racing, who ran the Xerox team, is now Goldbet BMW Italia so they can’t just hand it off to them either. They need a partner team or to start from scratch- which isn’t worth it for a 1 year investment, or a kneejerk reaction to not having a 2013 partner.

    Should be interesting to see where this goes