Ducati today confirmed that they have signed an agreement the Francis Batta for the Belgian to run their World Superbike team for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The announcement had been expected for some time, as Batta had been linked to the deal almost immediately after the shock announcement that talks between Althea and Ducati had collapsed.
The team will be contesting the 2013 World Superbike Championship with the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini have signed up for the team, and will ride the Panigale in Alstare colors next season.
Below is the press release announcing the deal:
Ducati and Team Alstare together in World Superbike for two years as "Team Ducati Alstare"
- Two-year agreement with Francis Batta’s Belgian organisation, Team Alstare.
- Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini in confirmed rider line-up.
- Team will compete under the title: “Team Ducati Alstare”.
Borgo Panigale (Bologna), 11 November 2012 - A two-year agreement for the World Superbike Championship seasons 2013-2014 has been signed between Ducati and Francis Batta’s Belgian organisation, Team Alstare. Riders, Carlos Checa (Spain) and Ayrton Badovini (Italy) will join Alstare staff ready to prepare for the challenge of the 2013 World Superbike Championship. Powered by the new Ducati 1199 Panigale, the team will officially represent the Bologna-based manufacturer under the title “Team Ducati Alstare”.
Team Alstare is renowned for its benchmark professionalism and expertise and its headquarters, at Alleur in Belgium, is among the most technologically advanced in the sport. This impressive set-up combined with the passion of the Bologna factory’s engineers will create the perfect synergy to meet the expectations of the new Ducati 1199 Panigale. Alstare technicians and the Ducati Superbike development team will start working together immediately, with pre-winter tests scheduled to begin at the Aragon circuit in Spain on 14-15 November and continuing at Jerez from 28-30 November.
“At Ducati, we are very happy and confident with this agreement,” commented Ernesto Marinelli, Ducati Superbike Project Manager. “The professionalism, passion and sporting character of Francis Batta and all his staff, together with his structure, which sets an industry standard in terms of equipment and organisation, are vital elements for our future plans. We have a lot of work to do, and I am sure that we are able to do it in the best possible way.”
From 1995-1997, a similar partnership returned exceptionally good results, when Ducati and Team Alstare joined forces to compete in the European Supersport, World Supersport and World Superbike series.
“For me, it’s an absolute thrill to be able to join the Ducati family again,” commented Francis Batta on the two-year agreement with the factory. “Together, we were so successful in the past and Ducati remains a reference brand for me today. We are going to face a challenge which is highly stimulating both for me and for my team and we will apply our absolute best efforts to making sure this is a successful endeavour.”