World Superbike: Canepa To Ride Ducati At Laguna Seca

Cycle News Staff | September 20, 2013

With Carlos Checa suffering a broken pelvis during practice at the Istanbul round last week, the Ducati Alstare team has announced that Ducati Superstock rider Niccolo Canepa will take his place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Canepa will join Ayrton Badovini on the team’s Panigales.

Since the World Superstock Series doesn’t compete at Laguna, Canepa was available and he’s a natural choice, considering that he’s raced at Laguna Seca before in 2008 on a Ducati in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. For Badovini, however, practice at Laguna on Friday, September 27 will be his first time at the racetrack on the Monterey Peninsula. To make matters worse for the Italian, he is also battling an ankle injury suffered in Turkey last week.

“My physical condition is improving day after day,” Badovini said in a team release. “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 percent physically speaking, that we will do one race on the Saturday and the other on Sunday. I’m feeling pretty confident.”

Canapa, meanwhile, says Laguna is one of his favorites.

“I’m really pleased to have this opportunity,” Canapa said. “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 favorite 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 [Checa] a speedy recovery.”