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
Want to get in on the 2013 World Superbike action? Play Motorcycle USA’s Fantasy Superbike for a chance to win prizes like a VIP trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and $50 gift cards from Motorcycle-Superstore.com. Get in on the action before it’s too late. Round 1 at Phillip Island is set for February 24th!
World Superbike Season Preview 2013
World SBK BMW Season Preview 2013
World SBK Ducati Season Preview 2013
World SBK Aprilia Season Preview 2013
World SBK Honda Season Preview 2013
World SBK Kawasaki Season Preview 2013
World SBK Suzuki Season Preview 2013