Imola Superbike: Althea Ducati Preview

World Superbike

The penultimate round of the 2010 World Superbike Championship will take place this weekend at Imola. The two Althea Racing riders have different objectives but are both ready, under the guidance of Team Manager Genesio Bevilacqua, to run two strong races on the Italian circuit.

The 37-year-old Carlos Checa will be looking for another top-three result. The Spanish rider hopes to power his Ducati to the sixth podium of the season, after the win at Phillip Island and the four second place finishes achieved at Valencia, Kyalami, Misano and The Nurburgring.

Morale is high after the recent success in Germany and Carlos knows he has a strong bike and team, with which he plans to conclude a positive and satisfying season in the best possible way. The rider, from San Fruitos, currently lies in fourth place and will try to defend that position this weekend, ahead of the last round at Magny-Cours on Oct. 3.

Since coming to the Superbike championship, Checa has never reached the Imola podium and last year he failed to do better than tenth, but during this year’s Pirelli tests the Spanish rider proved to be one of the fastest around this track, another reason to hope for another satisfying weekend for the Civita Castellana-based team.

Shane Byrne will also do his best at the Italian team’s home track. The British rider is still striving to get back on top after suffering an injury to his hand which has held him back until now. This weekend he aims for the top five, which would be his best result of the season after two sixth place finishes scored at Portimao and Miller Motorsports Park. The 33-year old, BSB champion in 2008, hope to be among the frontrunners, closing his season as positively as possible. In the last Imola tests “Shakey” showed that he can keep pace with the best and on Sunday he will have two chances to show his full potential.

The General Manager of Althea Racing, Genesio Bevilacqua, is confident ahead of Sunday’s races.

Genesio Bevilacqua says: “The great results achieved in the Pirelli tests stand us in good stead. We weren’t able to try the development tyres on that occasion as we are not a factory team but despite this we were able to do a great job with both Carlos and Shane. With Checa, we will try to close the season in the best possible way, defending fourth position in the championship or even improving on it. With Shane we’ll try to do better than ever. We’re confident because our bike has reached a high level from the performance point of view, we’ve closed the gap that existed at first between us and the other teams and now we know that we can fight with the best of them.”

World Superbike Point Standings: 1) M. BIAGGI p. 397; 2) L. HASLAM p. 339; 3) J. REA p. 288; 4) C. CHECA p. 222… 12) S. BYRNE p. 136