2012 World Superbike Testing
For the first time in 2012, the Althea Ducati team of Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano was able to put some laps in aboard the 1198 Desmo.
The team wrapped up a private three-day test Wednesday at Phillip Island, Australia. Checa and Giugliano were on track with a few other top teams in World SBK, as they prepare for the first official test at the same Australian circuit next week.
And when things were complete on Wednesday, it was Checa who posted the quickest unofficial time at Phillip Island, the reigning WSBK Champion posting a 1:32.1. Checa's new teammate, the 2011 Superstock 1000 Champion Giugliano, suffered a crash, but still progressed; by the end of the testing session, he posted a best of 1:33.7
During the test, both riders primarily worked on setup of the Ducati 1198, with Giugliano also experimenting with a new fork.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 Superbike) says: "We lost time yesterday because I was unwell; I stayed in bed for most of the morning and only went out on track from about 2.30pm. Despite that setback, we still got most of the work done luckily.
"Today was even hotter and we tried different things but it seems hard to make further improvements when we already feel like we're at the limit. We started the season well here last year so we've compared last year's set-up to this year's, considering the extra 6kg, and we understand the direction to take. We'll continue with the work on Monday, concentrating mainly on the tires and their behavior in these hot conditions but for now I can say I'm satisfied."
Davide Giugliano (Althea Ducati 1198 Superbike) says: "All in all it's gone well seeing as it's the first time I'm seeing the Phillip Island track. I think we can be happy with the work completed over the three days, though there's still a lot to do next week!
"Everything went more or less to plan, apart from a crash on day one but, thanks to my team that has worked hard to set the bike up to suit my riding style, I was able to build confidence and I am feeling more positive as a result. Now we can rest up for a couple of days before turning our minds to the next round of tests."
Genesio Bevilacqua (General Manager of Althea Racing Ducati) says: "Considering that this has been a long and tiring test session, with very high track temperatures, I think we can be satisfied with the results. We were mainly checking the bike's set up and behavior in light of the extra six kilos.
"It's clear that on this track Carlos is able to set some very fast times but this wasn't our main focus here. We've worked hard and I think it has paid off as we have a strong set-up and feel ready for the off. We of course have a significant disadvantage with the extra weight on board, and we've already seen here that riders like Laverty, Haslam, Biaggi and Sykes are strong, but we are confident in Carlos' abilities.
"As far as Davide is concerned, and bearing in mind that it's always difficult for a rider with a new bike at a new track, I believe that he has good pace and is definitely moving in the right direction. We concentrated on making him comfortable and giving him confidence with the bike and he made constant progress. The whole team is more united than ever and we'll continue with our work program next Monday."
The Althea Ducati team will be back on the Phillip Island Circuit Monday and Tuesday (Feb. 20-21) for the first official test of 2012 World Superbike ahead of the season opener at the same track Feb. 26.