Effenbert-Liberty Withdraws from Superstock 1000 Cup – Two Less Ducati 1199 Panigales in Competition
Mere days after promoting racer Brett McCormick to its World Superbike team, Effenbert-Liberty Racing has announced its withdrawal from the Superstock 1000 Cup.
Effenbert-Liberty was one of the higher-profile teams that were planning to compete in the Superstock 1000 Cup on the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Until this week, the team had planned to field McCormick and Federico Sandi in the Superstock series alongside its three-man WSBK team of Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger on the Ducati 1198.
On Wednesday, the Czech team made waves by saying it had been in discussions with Troy Bayliss about a comeback before promoting McCormick to the WSBK squad. At the time, team owner Mario Bertuccio said Sandi would remain in the Superstock 1000 Cup. That no longer appears to be the case.
Effenbert-Liberty will instead focus its resources on its four-rider WSBK squad. Sandi is left without a ride though Bertuccio says the team will continue to support the 22-year-old.
“This is a corporate decision, and at this point, it should be interpreted only as a means of focusing all the energy of the Effenbert Liberty Racing Team to support our 4 riders in the World Superbike Championship, Sylvain Guintoli, Jakub Smrž, Maxime Berger and Brett McCormick, in the best possible way,” says Bertuccio. “The engagement of youngster Federico Sandi is therefore officially brought to an end, however, we are going to give him our support as we strongly believe in his talent.”
Guintoli earned the team’s first podium finish of the season at the Feb. 26 season-opening round in Australia. Guintoli finished third in the first race at Phillips Island while Smrz finished fifth and Berger 13th. The second race saw Guintoli retire after nine laps while Berger finished seventh and Smrz 11th.
The 2012 Superstock 1000 Cup doesn’t begin until April 1 at Italy’s Imola circuit. Without the two Effenbert-Liberty entries, the Superstock 1000 grid will have only four Ducati 1199 Panigales lining up, two each for Barni Racing and DMC Racing.
[Source: Liberty Racing]
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