Is Checa Racing a Ducati Panigale in 2013 or What?

Checa Panigale Test

If nothing else, 2012 has finally shown the Ducati 1198R for what it truly is – obsolete. At least that is the case in World Superbike spec, where Carlos Checa is getting an almost weekly lesson in what ‘Blew by You’ means care of 4 cylinder mega horsepower.  And a bunch of extra weight which seems pretty unfair. No matter, he’ll be on a Ducati 1199 Panigale next year won’t he?

Its pretty strange that with just one round to go of the 2012 World Superbike Championship, we still don’t know whether the Ducati 1199 Panigale will be homologated for World Superbike duty and furthermore if the reigning (for a few more days) champion Carlos Checa will be on board with Althea or otherwise.

Contrast this situation with MotoGP where the champion announced his retirement after just a few races and Valentino Rossi bailed out on Ducati shortly afterwards.  With 5 rounds to go almost every seat that matters is decided for 2013.

Rumors persist that El Torro doesn’t like the Panigale after testing it even though he tweeted out his satisfaction to his followers at the time.  In FIM Superstock spec, despite the 195hp claim, the Panigale isn’t exactly a rocketship.  It has won just two races and is noticeably slower than the Kawasaki and BMW in a straight line.  To be fair the Panigale is a brand new bike still in the relatively early stages of development and Eddie La Marra’s consistency has kept the Pani close to the top of the points table.  

We must be only days away from Checa finally showing his hand as all the plum rides have been snapped up, unless Max Biaggi announces his retirement after (presumably) taking his second Superbike title in France in a few weeks and opens up an empty seat on an RSV4 for ’13.

Despite this possibility, at least one blog is claiming Althea Ducati has confirmed its current rider lineup of Checa and Davide Giugliano for next season on the new Ducati 1199 Panigale.  We’ll wait for the press release before we believe that given that Carlos only signed with Althea for this season last October just days before his contract expired.

Source: Motociclisti Blog (Google Translation)

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9 Responses to “Is Checa Racing a Ducati Panigale in 2013 or What?”

  1. The question I’ve been asking every fellow Ducatista for months!

  2. I’m definitely no expert on the ins and outs of World Superbike contracts, but I’d have to say he’s staying with Ducati, simply for the reasons you mentioned in your article. 1. He’s keeping quiet, and 2. There’s nowhere else to go. However, if he did leave Ducati next year, I’d completely understand. He’s in the same boat as Valentino was in GP; too late in his career to be developing motorcycles. I’d hate to see the 1199 get spanked in SBK, but we have to start somewhere.

  3. I thought there would be a factory team next year to bring the Panigale to WSB.
    The 1198 is only obselete because of the inlet restrictors and weight penalty.
    Sure checa would at least try to get back on the top before he retires. Campaigning the 1198 this year must be difficult. Bit like riding a 750 in the old days.

  4. I think that Bayliss is coming back on the new bike he has developed.and as a fabric team.

  5. If you have ever rode a 1199 they are not living up to all the hype we were promised. So I guess it’s the same even for pro riders.

  6. Flynn – It is a bike in progress of being developed. Look how long it took for the S1000RR to give anything close to the results everyone thought would happen immediately. It takes time to work out the kinks. The bike winning a couple of races in it’s first year out is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Don’t sell it short. I have a feeling the Ducatisti will have something of a show to be proud of. Hell, take the weight out of the current 1198 and it is still competitive. You need to be patient and stop reading all the magazines opinions or youtube opinions and being disappointed. Again, this is a bike in progress. It is a radically different departure from what they had before. The engine has a lot of development still to go.

  7. it’s all in the electronics…
    that is where it is all gained or lost…
    Fast out of the crate days are long over…

    Being irrelevant in Motogp is one thing.
    not doing well in WSBK is something different..

    i’m sure audi knows, so Ducati knows…

  8. I own one so this is not based on YouTube or other reviews.

  9. 1198 Obsolete? What series are you watching? In he last round of the season, an 1198 (with restrictor plates and two weight penalties after crushing everyone last year) WON the first race and came back for ANOTHER podium in race two.