Team SBK Ducati Alstare in collaboration with Team Barni Racing have come to an agreement that will see Italian rider Niccolò Canepa participate as a wildcard in the Superbike category this weekend. Canepa, who is currently leading the Superstock 1000 championship with Team Barni Racing, is available to compete in the Superbike category this weekend as the Stock bikes do not race at the UK circuit. The Ducati Alstare and Barni Racing teams are therefore pleased to announce that Canepa will join official Ducati Superbike riders Checa and Badovini for this fifth round of the world series.
Last year's event at Donington Park saw both Carlos and Ayrton close with a best result of sixth position though Checa was a race winner at the UK track in 2011. Canepa also competed at Donington last year, finishing with a best of eleventh position.
Checa, who was unable to take part in Monza's races due to an osseous edema to the humerus of the left shoulder, will return to the track next weekend at Donington. Having completed a course of intense treatment over recent weeks he is confident that he will be ready to fight come Sunday.
Team SBK Ducati Alstare and Badovini took part in a positive day's testing at the Mugello circuit last Tuesday. Ducati's development team and Niccolò Canepa, also present, carried out some tests which continued into Wednesday, giving Niccolò the chance to build confidence with the 1199 Panigale in its Superbike configuration in preparation for the UK event. During these sessions both riders tested new traction control settings and various set-ups that gave encouraging results.
Carlos Checa: "Having been forced to sit out of the Monza races I'm really looking forward to being back on the bike at Donington. I've been working hard to get back to full fitness and have carried on with the treatments recommended to me by the specialists - I still have a week to prepare before getting back on track next Friday but I'm feeling much stronger and am optimistic ahead of the next races."
Checa's Superbike form at Donington:
2012: Race 1 - 6th, Race 2 - DNF
2011: Race 1 - 3rd, Race 2 - winner
2009: Race 1 - 11th, Race 2 - DNF
2008: Race 1 - DNF, Race 2 - 9th
Ayrton Badovini: "The day's testing that we completed at Mugello was very useful and I hope we'll be able to confirm the work done there on track at Donington. I can finally say that I feel fit once more, after physical problems through the first part of the season. I am continuing with my usual training and preparation programme at home and aim to take two good results in the UK next week - I'm feeling confident."
Badovini's Superbike form at Donington:
2012: Race 1 - 11th, Race 2 - 6th
2011: Race 1 - 13th, Race 2 - 9th
2008: Race 1 - 12th, Race 2 - DNF
Niccolò Canepa: "I enjoyed testing at Mugello and got on very well with the bike and so I'm really pleased to have this opportunity to ride the 1199 Panigale with Team Ducati Alstare at Donington. I want to thank Francis Batta of Ducati Alstare, Ernesto Marinelli and Ducati and of course my own team, Barni Racing and manager Marco Barnabò for coming together and arranging this. I hope to be able to pay them back by scoring some solid results during these important races."
Canepa's Superbike form at Donington:
2012: Gara 1 - 19°, Gara 2 - 11°
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director: "I'm very happy to have three riders ready to line up at Donington, a special thanks to Marco Barnabò for his availability and to Niccolò for his enthusiasm, it will be useful to have his feedback this weekend."
Name: Donington Park
Length of circuit: 4.023km
Pole Position: left
Length of straight: 550m
Race distance: 23 laps = 92.529km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap - Checa (Ducati) 1'28.988 (2011). Superpole - Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'27.716 (2012).
2012 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Melandri (BMW); 2. Haslam (BMW); 3. Sykes (Kawasaki). Race 2 - 1. Rea (Honda); 2. Biaggi (Aprilia); 3. Sykes (Kawasaki)
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