The Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike round was not so kind to the Althea Racing team as Carlos Checa was forced to retire from both motorcycle races, while Shane Bryne collected 19 points.
It could have been an unforgettable weekend but two different technical problems prevented the team, based in Civita Castellana, from taking what seemed like two certain victories which would have propelled the Spanish rider close to the top of the standings.
Genesio Bevilacqua (General Manager of Althea Racing) says: “It was a hard blow, I can’t deny it, but we returned to Europe safe in the knowledge that we are able to beat the best.”
“The technical problems that stopped us are be looked at by Ducati because we want to understand the motives, to be able to prevent a similar occurrence in the future. We are sure that we carried out each technical step to the best of our ability and so we have entrusted Ducati with analyzing the engine in detail.”
From the human point of view on the other hand, the Miller race hasn’t left a bad taste.
“Carlos has been fantastic”, continued Bevilacqua, “because he didn’t blame anyone for what happened, and put it down to being part of the history of racing. If possible, this episode has brought us even closer together as a group. And Shane, thanks to the sixth and seventh place achieved, has regained confidence, and knows he can do even better.”
However, as Checa stated at the end of the American round, one needs to turn the page and Althea Racing did just that, by participating in the Misano tests that took place during WDW (World Ducati Week), where Checa lapped in 1m36.3 and Byrne in 1m36.6, times that were very close to those of the factory riders and obtained on race rubber.
“This result”, declared Bevilacqua, “allows us to feel confident ahead of the race because both riders had good pace. I think we will once again be fighting for the positions that count at Misano, just as we demonstrated we are capable of doing at Miller”.
Last year Byrne stepped up to the podium in race 1 (2nd) and finished sixth in race 2, while Checa concluded the races in 11th and 5th position.
1. Biaggi p. 257 – 2. Haslam p. 242 – 3. Rea p. 151 – 4. Checa p. 141 – 5. Haga p. 135 … 12. Byrne p. 81