In what can only be described as an ambitious move, BMW Italia is trying to poach newly crowned reigning-World Champion Carlos Checa from the Althea Duacti racing team. Rumored to have a €800,000 offer on the table, Checa has until Saturday (tomorrow) to respond to the offer. With the 2011 World Superbike season set to end this Sunday, Checa finds himself in the precarious position of having just clinched the 2011 WSBK Championship, yet having not concrete contract for next season at this season’s conclusion.
Accordingly, BMW Italia has seized upon the opportunity, and is trying to poach Checa while Althea Racing continues to get its ducks in a row. Checa throughout the season has been adamant about his desire to stay with the Italian racing team, but as Althea Racing has come under scrutiny for the business practices of Althea Ceramics, a separate but entirely related company, there is enough cause to have serious concern over if/when a contract from Althea Racing would be extended to Checa.
Racing in the season finale at Portimão this weekend, and topping the provisional pole time sheets today, Checa certainly has more than just tomorrow’s Superpole and Sunday’s race on his mind. Should he accept BMW’s ultimatum, Checa could be on the BMW S1000RR by as early as Tuesday, for the beginning of the 2012 testing season. Surely to be paired with Ayrton Badovini, the addition of Checa to the BMW Italia team could be a potent duo, as the Italian team has often trumped its factory counterpart during the 2011 season. Stay tuned WSBK fans, we’ll know more in 24 hours.