2013 World Superbike NewsA week after the conclusion of the 2013 World Superbike Championship, Ducati and Team Alstare have terminated their partnership, which was expected to continue in 2014.
Ducati reports it will still participate in 2014 World Superbike, with sponsorship plans and riders to be confirmed in the coming days.The Bologna-based manufacturer and Team Alstare arrived at this agreement following “global economic downturn challenging Team Alstare’s 2014 expenses,” and a sour season.In 2014 World SBK, Team Alstare Ducati riders Ayrton Badovini and the now retired Carlos Checa struggled. Badovini finished 12th, 317 points behind this year’s winner Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), and the 2011 World SBK Champion Checa finished 15th, 367 behind Sykes. This was also the first year Ducati used its 1199 Panigale in World SBK competition.The decision was made Friday during a meeting held with Ducati management and Francis Batta, owner of Team Alstare.Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati SBK Project Manager) says: “I am extremely sorry that an operation that had started on such a positive note had to be concluded before its time without achieving the results we were aiming for.“This was a very difficult year in terms of sports performance, but I am convinced that it nevertheless made us both grow and lay solid foundations for our future development and improvement. In these months together, I experienced the constant professionalism and expertise of everyone at Team Alstare, and I hope to be able to work with them again in the future.“My special thanks, both in my personal capacity and on behalf of the whole company, go to Francis for the effort he has put in this year – as he always has throughout his career.”Francis Batta (Owner, Team Alstare) says: “I am very sad because this challenge, which began last November, was very important for me as a fresh start after missing one year.“Working with Ducati was incredibly thrilling, although unfortunately, we failed to achieve the results we had set ourselves. The 2013 racing season has been incredibly hard for us, and being unable to start from a solid position in 2014, I would rather not take risks that might compromise our ability to complete the season. I would like to thank Ducati for trusting me and I wish them all the success that they deserve.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.