Spanish gain: ERC Endurance Ducati adds Checa and Fores for EWC 2022
January 28 2022
*Ace Spaniards join Gines and Zanetti for Ducati-powered FIM EWC attack
*New recruits further increase experience and pedigree of rider line-up
*Team Manager Hoffmann: “We have four endurance specialists as quick as hell”
Spaniards David Checa and Xavi Fores will add further international flavour – and even more pace – to the ERC Endurance Ducati squad contesting the upcoming FIM Endurance World Championship season.
Joining Frenchman Mathieu Gines and Italian Lorenzo Zanetti, Checa and Fores will help to create a formidable line-up on the German team’s Ducati Panigale V4R.
Checa is one of the most successful and experienced riders in the history of endurance racing and is transferring from the factory Kawasaki outfit to the team from Karlsruhe. Winner of the EWC in 2004, 2014, 2016/17 and 2018/19, Checa also has experience in MotoGP and the World Superbike Championship. In addition, the 41-year-old has won the Bol d’Or twice and the 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans on three occasions.
“Since first entering the EWC competition at Malaysia two years ago I was able to watch the Ducati very closely on track and from beside and from the beginning it was clear to see the potential of the Panigale V4R-EWC,” Checa said. “The team has had a strong first season, showing the Ducati can mix it up front. They also learned a lot already and I am happy to now be part of this project. I will use all my experience on every single point to help bringing it further ahead.”
Fores, 36, joins ERC Endurance Ducati from the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, which he helped to finish runner-up in the 2021 FIM EWC Teams’ ranking. With experience and pedigree in GP125, Moto2, MotoGP, World Superbike and World Supersport, Fores is also a title winner in the German IDM Superbike series.
He said: “I had some great success with Ducati already and I think the ERC Endurance Panigale V4R-EWC can not only win podiums and races, but also fight for championships. I am looking forward to the new season and I think we can build on the great potential the team showed last year already.”
Gines and Zanetti, meanwhile, helped EWC Endurance Ducati to ninth place in the battle to win the 2021 FIM EWC Teams’ title. A decision on which member of the team’s quartet will take the fourth rider role will be made a later date, along with the decision on the tyre partner.
EWC Endurance Ducati Team Manager Frank Hoffmann said: “With Mathieu Gines, Lorenzo Zanetti, David Checa and Xavi Fores we have four absolute endurance specialists that are quick as hell. For ERC Endurance it is a big honour to have four such high profile riders joining us after just one year as it shows we gained a lot of respect in our first season in the FIM Endurance World Championship. We were quick and our Panigale V4R was more than reliable with our mechanics doing a great job in the pits. Of course we had to learn a lot and we have to take the learned things to 2022 to even get better. But it is a fact that with this bike and those four riders we have all the tools to fight for podiums, wins and the sharp end in the overall standing of the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship.”
ERC carries Ducati EWC hopes
EWC Endurance has signed a new two-year agreement with Ducati Corse, which brings engineering support, among several other benefits to its attack. The team is planning pre-season testing in Portimão in Portugal and Misano in Italy.