Althea Ducati shutters its Superstock team

After a turbulent weekend at Assen, cumulating in blowing up their brand new Ducati Pangale 1199, the Althea Racing team have decided to end their involvement in the World Superstock 1000 series. With independent teams consistently outperforming them, it was theorised that the Althea bike was being used as a testbed to find the limits of the engine. It seems that they found them at Assen.

Press Release follows:


Monza (Italy), Thursday 3rd May 2012: With the conclusion of the recent Assen event, Team Althea Racing and rider Federico Sandi end their brief Superstock experience. Unfortunately bad luck conditioned the first two races, foreseen as a trial period, preventing Federico from fulfilling his potential and the potential of Borgo Panigale’s new bike. The fact that there was such a short time available to prepare at the start of the season, combined with the challenges and workload that an important and complex programme such as Superstock involves, means that the Civita Castellana- based team will be unable to continue with the project for the rest of the season.
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing:
“The fondness that the Althea team has for Federico encouraged us to put together, with the help of Ducati, a bike and team in little more than a couple of weeks and we were thus able to participate in the first two races of the season. The amount of work and effort that this activity requires means that we are unfortunately unable to continue with this project, that we had not planned for, for the entire season. We really wanted to do more but we are nevertheless aware that we have given Federico significant support at a time when our sector is suffering.”
Federico Sandi:
“It has been a great experience anyway, and for this I thank both the team and Ducati. I hope to be able to repeat it in the future with more success and more luck.”
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"...combined with the challenges and workload that an important and complex programme such as Superstock involves..."

What's so complex about SST? Standard bikes with after market suspension can't be a big challange for a team like Althea.

I belive Ducati understod that they wasn't gonna win with this bike so they decided to quit sooner rather then later.

3 podiums and 1 pole after the very first 2 races of this bike, Panigale riders are 2nd and 4th in the championship with Ducati is 2nd in the manufacturers rankings, not much to worry is it?

Agreed Althea withdrawal is quite odd. But it doesn't seem to me it's because of lack of competitiveness from the bike.

Imo, this is more important than it appears. We know the Japanese want to get rid of exotic titanium internals in SBK b/c they never wanted them in the first place. They don't use them in AMA or BSB so they are really only necessary to power the twins.

We also know that no one is remotely happy with the 1000cc/1200cc rules. The 4-cylinder teams don't like the extra displacement which throws off the rules equity, and Ducati don't like being embarrassed at Monza b/c the 1198 can't breathe. They certainly aren't going to let the 1199 Panigale look slow.

Running a stock (aluminum internals) 1199 Panigale in Superstock will yield lots of relevant data about the performance of the bottom end, and whether the pistons, rods, crank can handle the strain of racing competition, and whether big bore twin internals can be competitive with aluminum 4-cylinder kit. All part of increasing the accessibility and lowering the cost of WSBK, imo.