Ducati, as expected, have terminated their partnership with the Alstare team of Francis Batta after talks following the final round of the 2013 World Superbike season that has saw Ducati finish bottom of the constructer’s championship in a series they previously dominated.
With their best rider, Ayrton Badovini, finishing the season back in 12th and former champion Carlos Checa, who has struggled with injury all season, beaten by Ducati privateer Max Neukirchner into 15th place, change was expected at the Belgian based team, and the announcement was made after talks this week.
Ernesto Marinelli, Ducati project manager for World Superbikes said after the announcement: “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. “
Batta added: “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.”
However, MCN believes that both will remain in the WSB paddock for 2014, with Feel Racing, the team currently behind the BMW Motorrad effort, taking over the Ducati bike, as BMW leave the sport on a factory basis, while Batta’s Alstare team could be running a satellite Aprilia team for the Noale factory, who are keen to remain involved with Eugene Laverty.