News 23 Jan 2010

WSBK: Checa and Byrne satisfied with Althea Ducati debut


First day of three-day test session for Althea Racing Team at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve near Portimao in Portugal. The team started their preparations for the first races of the season and these tests were a good opportunity for Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne to get familiar with their new Ducati 1198 and the first occasion of confrontation with the other Superbike teams and riders. It was the first test for Byrne on his Althea Ducati 1198 while Checa tested his new bike and team here in Portimao around the end of October 2009. The two Althea Racing team riders faced a wet track and warm temperatures today in Portugal. They used the time to develop their relationships with their new team and also to start getting better acquainted with their Ducati race bikes. During morning practice Shane Byrne finished twenty-five laps while teammate Checa thirty. In the afternoon free session each rider had a full schedule of work to get through and were happy about the improvements on the bikes. Checa finished thirty-one laps while Byrne thirty-three.

Carlos Checa :” I’m satisfied with the results of this first day of tests. Today I used both of my new bikes and I worked on adapting my riding style to this new bike. At the beginning I found some difficulties but in the afternoon I was able to find a good pace. Tomorrow we’ll concentrate on the electronics and on some aspects that I want to improve. It was my first time on my new 1198 Ducati bike. I can say it’s a new bike concept for me and I really enjoy riding Ducati. My bike potential is very high and I can say that today we improved consistently during these two practice sessions. The team is doing a great job and I’d like to thank all of my technicians for their great help. I believe in this project and I’m sure we have the capability to reach very good results this year”.

Shane Byrne :”I thought I knew the Ducati bikes quite well, but this Althea Ducati 1198 is so much different from the one I used last year. The electronic system on this bike is very diverse from anything I have tried before. We worked hard on the electronics and for me it was not so easy to understand how this bike works. We are concentrating on every step to make sure it’s a step in the right direction. This morning we began the test exactly with the same setting I used last year and then step by step we improved it. All my team did a very good job today, I’m really very happy and I want to thank all of them for the great job. I think we have some positive things to do tomorrow and many new things to try. I want to work on the bike setting as I’m sure I could be faster and more consistent”.

Genesio Bevilacqua – Team General Manager :”I’m pretty satisfied about today’s results also because I saw a solid team that’s working with the right system and mentality. I’m also satisfied with our riders and their results. I’m sure tomorrow they’ll continue to work well to improve the bike‘s performance. We are working in the right direction and we must continue to improve”.