News 18 Jan 2010

WSBK: Checa and Byrne launch Althea Ducati team in Italy

Byrne and Checa are set for 2010 with Althea Ducati.

Byrne and Checa are set for 2010 with Althea Ducati.

The Althea Racing Team was officially launched over the weekend in Italy, presenting 2010 riders Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne along with the Ducati Superbikes they’ll contest the Superbike World Championship with.

Former MotoGP winner Checa is thrilled to be joining Ducati again after formerly riding for the manufacturer in MotoGP, looking forward to when testing kicks off at Portimao in Portugal this weekend.

“In few days we’ll leave for Portimao and I will be able to start to work with my new technicians in order to start the Superbike World Championship in the best possible way,” said Checa. “My team worked very hard to prepare the bikes and I’ll do my best starting from the first test session in Portimao because I want to start this 2010 season in the right way.”

New teammate and former British Superbike Champion Byrne is also excited for the challenge that lies ahead, switching to Althea after spending last season with the Sterilgarda Ducati effort in his return to the world title.

“Today I saw my new Ducati bike for the first time and I’m eager to ride it in Portimao,” Byrne said. “Now I know all the components of the team and I’m sure it will be exciting work in such a professional squad, especially with Carlos Checa alongside.

“He’s got a lot of experience and I’m sure he’ll be a great team- mate. This year I want to firmly stay in the first positions in every race.”

The team has switched to Ducati after using Honda equipment in recent seasons.