Former British Superbike champion Shane Byrne has signed to ride with the Althea Ducati team for the 2010 World Superbike Championship.
Byrne, who won the BSB championship for a second time in 2008, joined the Sterilgarda Ducati team for 2009, finishing the season in the top ten after a number of strong performances. A second place finish at Misano was backed up with impressive rides at Donington, Portimao and Brno to see “Shakey” finish eighth in the championship, ahead of fellow Brit Tom Sykes.
But the Sterilgarda Ducati team have been dogged by reports of financial difficulties, having dropped Alessandro Polita at the start of the season to run with a single bike in 2009. To date, the Italian satellite team have yet to announce their rider line-up for 2010.
That has prompted Byrne to move to the ambitious expanding Althea team, who will run two riders next season and switch from Honda to Ducati machinery. He will join former Ten Kate Honda rider Carlos Checa in an impressive rider line-up.
“I’m extremely happy to say that I will join the Althea Ducati racing team for the 2010 WSB championship,” said Byrne.
“Genesio Bevilacqua has been fantastic and from my talks with him so far I already understand he is a very serious, enthusiastic and ambitious person. He has put together a fantastic package that should enable both Carlos and I the opportunity to fight at a very high level so I look forward to this new adventure.
“Remaining on a Ducati motorcycle was very important to me and I think in Team Althea Ducati I’ve found the perfect place, a good bike, a very strong and experienced teammate and an extremely motivated team so I can’t wait to get started!”