In 2012, the Ducati 1199 Panigale wasn’t utilized in the World Superbike championship, so earned its first racing stripes in the Superstock 1000 series, where Eddi LaMarra rode it to second-place overall. For 2013, Carlos Checa returns alongside new teammate, Aytron Badovini, to see if the Italian mount can live up to expectations in the premier-class.
The previous weight restriction on twin-cylinder bikes was changed for 2013, allowing both the 1200cc Twins and the 1000cc four-cylinder bikes to register at a minimum weight of 165kg, an advantage for Ducati as they frequently cited tire wear issues due to the additional pounds last year.
Badovini made the podium once in 2012 riding for the now non-existent satellite BMW Motorrad Italia squad. He didn’t have much success on the Beemer throughout the season, placing outside the top-10 numerous times retiring from seven races total. He’s already hit a rough patch in 2013, crashing hard during unofficial testing at Phillip Island. The incident resulted in an injured liver which kept the Italian from participating in the official test ahead of Round 1. It’s an injury that doctors advise will take close to a month to heal, but he’s set to compete in the season opener, just over one week after the crash.
Max Neukrichner heads up the Ducati satellite effort, riding for MR-Racing, but a crash on the first day of official testing saw the German rider taken to the hospital for medical attention. He did not return on Day 2 and there’s no word yet on his condition.
2013 Ducati SBK Roster:
#7 Carlos Checa – Team Ducati Alstare
#86 Ayrton Badovini – Team Ducati Alstare
#27 Max Neukirchner – MR-Racing
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