Althea To Field Giugliano Aboard Aprilia For 2013 WSBK Campaign

After their split with Ducati over the support required for campaigning and developing Ducati's new Panigale superbike, there was some speculation as to what would become of the Italian team which ran Ducati's crypto-factory racing program for the past two years. On Monday, Althea announced that as expected, the team would be making the switch to Aprilia, and racing an RSV4 in 2013.

The team will field only a single rider, Davide Giugliano remaining with the team for 2013. The young Italian had an excellent rookie season with the Althea Ducati team, getting on the podium twice at Misano and Assen and regularly tussling with front group of WSBK men. 

Althea's choice for Aprilia makes a grand total of four RSV4s on the 2013 grid. Beside the factory Aprilia squad of Eugene Laverty and Sylvain Guintoli, Michel Fabrizio will also be racing an RSV4 for the Red Devils Roma, while Giugliano races the bike for the Althea team.

Below is the official press release from Althea:

Team Althea Racing together with Aprilia in 2013 World Superbike Championship

Althea Racing partners with Aprilia and prepares to compete at the top level in the 2013 World Superbike Championship.

Davide Giugliano will be tasked with riding the RSV4 Factory machine, the bike that won the Rider’s and Manufacturer’s titles in both the recently concluded 2012 championship and the 2010 season. The two winning companies have decided to work together to consolidate their position as frontrunners and give Davide Giugliano the chance to prove himself as a top rider in the category. The young Italian rider can count on the tried and tested structure of the Civita Castellana-based team and on the expertise of technicians who have clearly demonstrated their ability in recent years.

Genesio Bevilacqua: “I am very pleased to have reached such an important agreement with Aprilia. We will race with the championship winning bike next year and this will only encourage us to push even harder and live up to the potential of the bike that we are entrusted with. As everybody knows, Althea Racing is used to facing important challenges and counts on a structure that works in perfect harmony to achieve great goals. Our strength is our team and its components; our team members, who have worked together for many years with no secrets between them, remain the same. We believe that we have sufficient experience with which to confront the challenge of the 2013 championship. Davide Giugliano is our secret weapon. He is a young and aggressive rider who has amazing talent and together with him we will fight for success in the 2013 SBK championship standings. I would like to thank the entire Aprilia staff and particularly Engineer Dall’Igna for their willingness and professionalism.”

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I'm crushed. Three of my favorite Ducati (or former Ducati) riders are moving to Aprilia next season. First it was Michel to Red Devils. Then Guinters to take Max's spot. Now Davide and Althea. Although I'm a little disheartened to see them on the "other" Italian, I think it's fair to say they'll be on the better bike for 2013.