Before the 2014 Superbike World Championship comes to a conclusion, Team Althea Racing is already hard at work as it starts to make preparations for next season.
In 2015, the partnership between the Althea Racing Team and Ducati will continue. In 2011, the team won Ducati’s most recent World Superbike title, with Carlos Checa on board the 1098R; Checa was the first Spaniard ever to win the World Superbike title. Next year the team will line up with two very experienced riders and with the strong desire to unleash its full potential and create a team with all of the characteristics needed to win.
Genesio Bevilacqua, Althea Racing Team Owner, has decided to focus on Spaniard Nicolas Terol and on Italian rider Matteo Baiocco. Both riders are able to bring results to the team and it is for this reason that the Althea Racing has decided on these two men. Ambition, experience and a desire to stand out are the qualities that the team were looking for and, in this case, all of the prerequisites with which to do well exist. A bike, the Ducati 1199 Panigale R, that has everything needed to be able to compete at the highest level against rival manufacturers, and two riders that the team believe can fight for podium finishes with Ducati in every race.
Nicolas Terol was the last rider to win the 125 World Championship title, in 2011, with the Aprilia of Team Bancaja Aspar. 2014 was not a very positive year for Nico, who did not achieve the results he’d hoped for due to a hip injury sustained at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and went on to disrupt his entire season. The 26-year old, from Alcoy in Spain, will come to Team Althea with a great deal of experience and the desire to demonstrate his true value.
Matteo Baiocco, born in 1984, knows the bike better than anyone, thanks to his work as Ducati test rider. It is also worth noting that Matteo has, until now, been the fastest rider ever to ride the 1199 Panigale R; he set a new Mugello track record of 1’49.7 which smashed all previous records. The rider, from Osimo in Italy, won the Italian Superbike championship (CIV) on two consecutive occasions, in 2011 and 2012, and also battled for the 2014 title right down to the last laps of the very last race at Mugello. All of these qualities have resulted in the Team selecting him for 2015.
Genesio Bevilacqua: “The 2015 season represents a relaunch for Team Althea and, having dominated with Ducati for three years in the reigning class, the Team has decided to focus on two experienced riders. Nico Terol is a rider with great talent and we believe that a Team like ours can help bring him the success that he deserves; his true value has not been appreciated. Matteo is a rider who I know well, he is extremely experienced and knows the bike better than anyone else so I am sure that this can be a fundamental year for his career. Thanks to collaboration with Ducati management, who we thank for the trust they have put in us, we have the privilege of taking top class bikes, with which we have always been able to perform at the highest level, back on the track.
Matteo Baiocco: “I’m really pleased to have reached an agreement with Genesio Bevilacqua and with Team Althea. Becoming part of such a successful team is a very important opportunity for me to put all of my experience from recent years, in national championships and in the development of the Panigale SBK with Ducati, into practice. I feel ready for this new challenge and believe that this opportunity has come at the right time for me. I can’t wait to start working with my new team, in order to find the right harmony and arrive competitive at next season’s opening race.”
Nicolas Terol:”I’m very happy about this opportunity with Team Althea. I’m lucky to be coming to a championship such as Superbike that I have always followed closely, and with a very experienced team that knows how to win. It’s great to be able to debut with a bike like the Ducati. This period has been very difficult for me, so I consider the move to Superbike as a chance to start over. I’ve never lost the desire to compete against others and fight for the win. I thank Genesio Bevilacqua and Team Althea for having chosen me for their team. In the past I have worked with Gigi Dall’Igna who is now part of Ducati’s top management; he is a person who has always respected me. I can’t wait to get on my new bike and begin this new adventure.”