Bologna (Italy), Thursday 19 September 2013: with eleven of fourteen rounds now behind them, team SBK Ducati Alstare will journey to the States at the start of next week for round 12 of the World Superbike Championship, to be held for the first time in almost ten years at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit in California. The race weekend is scheduled to take place between 27 and 29 September.
Unfortunately rider Carlos Checa, having fractured his pelvis in a crash at the recent Istanbul round, is unable to compete in the remaining three rounds of the 2013 season. The Spaniard underwent surgery yesterday morning (Wednesday) but although the operation on his pelvis went well, doctors foresee a three month recovery period. A tough blow for Carlos and the entire Ducati Alstare team.
It will therefore be Ducati Superstock rider Niccolo’ Canepa who will line up alongside Ayrton Badovini at the Laguna event. Canepa is available to race due to the fact that the Stock 1000 category does not participate in the American round. Badovini was also injured in a separate incident at Istanbul Park but although his left ankle is still painful, he will be fit and ready in time for next weekend’s event.
The last time Laguna Seca featured on the Superbike calendar was back in 2004 and of the current crop of SBK riders only Haslam participated in that event but, as with the Istanbul track, a number of the riders have raced at Laguna in the past, while competing in the GP and 250 championships. Niccolo’ last raced there in 2009, on board the Ducati in MotoGP, while for Ayrton this will be a first visit to the track. Best known for its famous ‘Corkscrew’ bend, the layout is fast and flowing and both riders are very much looking forward to being a part of the action next weekend.
“My physical condition is improving day after day. My ankle is no longer swollen but the hematoma is still there of course. I’m continuing with therapy and am in constant contact with the Clinica Mobile’s doctors. I’m really excited to go to Laguna as it’s a track I’ve never seen before and it should be fantastic. There’ll be a lot for us to learn but, seeing as there are few straight sections, it might also be a track where we can take some strong results. It’s also useful, seeing as I probably won’t be 100% physically speaking, that we will do one race on the Saturday and the other on Sunday. I’m feeling pretty confident.”
“I’m really pleased to have this opportunity. Racing at Laguna Seca with the factory Ducati is really something incredible. I’m feeling confident because Laguna should suit the Ducati well and it also happens to be one of my favourite tracks. I thank my team manager Marco Barnabò of the Barni Racing Team for allowing me to do this once again, Ducati’s SBK project manager Ernesto Marinelli and Ducati Alstare team manager Francis Batta for giving me the opportunity, and my managers Silvia Mangione and Silvia Borella, from SG Agency, for their hard work and belief in me! It will be a busy month for me and I’ll try to make the most of it, also with an eye on next year. I would also like to wish Carlos a speedy recovery.”
Name: Laguna Seca
Length of circuit: 3.610 km
Pole Position: right
Race distance: 26 laps = 93.860 km
RECORDS: Lap record – Haga (Aprilia) 1'25.475 (2002). Superpole – Bayliss (Ducati) 1'24.833 (2002).
2004 RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Vermeulen (Honda); 2. Chili (Ducati); 3. Martin (Ducati). Race 2 – 1. Vermeulen (Honda); ; 2. Toseland (Ducati); 3. Laconi (Ducati).