24h Motos 2022: ERC Endurance Ducati to field David Checa, Xavi Fores and Philipp Oettl
ERC Endurance Ducati does last minute deal with Philipp Oettl as team mate for David Checa & Xavi Fores // Chaz Davies caught out by a virus infection // ERC Endruance Ducati’s last season in FIM Endurance World Championship about to start.
Karlsruhe / Le Mans. ERC Endurance Ducati will start its last season in the FIM Endurance World Championship with the 2022 season opener at the 24 hours of Le Mans this week. Meanwhile there had some rider issues to be overcome in the weeks before the event already. Finally, David Checa (ESP), Xavi Fores (ESP) and Philipp Öttl (GER) will start into the event on the EWC-spec Ducati Panigale V4R. Marc Moser (GER) will help the squad in the position of being fourth rider.
Drama started when Lorenzo Zanetti (ITA) had a crash during an Italian Superbike Championship race, left him injured and out for the Endurance outing this week. First, the multiple World Superbike runner-up Chaz Davies (GBR) did jump in but caught a bad flue the weekend before the race, leaving him on the side-lines. The team only got aware of the situation on Monday so had to work hard to find a replacement. The last minute deal got done on Wednesday in form of the German rider Philipp Öttl. He now knows the Ducati Panigale V4R from World Superbikes and did race many times at Le Mans during his Grand-Prix-Days in Moto3 and Moto2.
This weekend also marks the start of ERC Endurance Ducati’s last full season in the FIM Endurance World Championship. Starting 2023, the squad will turn its heads to new tasks but will remain part of the Endurance family by racing the 8 hours of Suzuka on a One-Event-Basis. Furthermore the team intends to race the Daytona 200 in USA and new is willing to enter the Rallye Dakar. Further information on those projects will be released on a later point.
“The test on Tuesday went really well even though we lost a half day due to rain. Our Ducati Panigale V4R is running perfectly and I think we have the Pace for the podium and – why not – the win. But for sure this is going to be a 24 hours race and we all know anything can happen. But we are well prepared.”
“I am looking forward to my first EWC race on the Ducati Panigale V4R. I did celebrate some of my biggest career successes with Ducati and I liked the EWC-spec Panigale since the first outing. I think we should be good in place to mix it up in the sharp end of the field.”
“I am excited and keen to see what will happen as I didn’t do any Endurance racing so far. I know the WorldSBK-spec Ducati Panigale V4R now and I get along with it better and better. I have the advantage, that I already did a lot races at Le Mans during my Moto3 and Moto2 times and I know the track very well.”