Monterey (USA), Sunday 29 September 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare was unfortunately unable to secure the kind of results it had hoped for in the second Superbike race taking place today at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California, USA; substitute rider Niccolò Canepa crossed the line in fifteenth place, having rejoined the race after a small crash, while injured Ayrton Badovini unfortunately ended his race in the gravel.
After yesterday’s difficult race, in which Ayrton concluded in ninth position and Niccolò crashed out, the Ducati Alstare riders again lined up in fourth (Niccolò) and ninth (Ayrton) position on the grid for today’s second race of the weekend. Conditions were once again warm and sunny and, unlike yesterday, the 26-lap race ran uninterrupted from start to finish.
Niccolò made a great start and was in fourth position through the first corners. At ease on the bike, he demonstrated a strong pace and was running with the leading group. Unfortunately during the second lap, through turn two, Melandri’s pass forced him off line and, not wanting to lose ground, Canepa pushed hard on the front which caused the front to lock and the rider to crash. The young Italian was able to return to the track and continue the race but his gear shifter was broken and, from 18th position and 50 seconds behind, it was difficult to make up the lost ground. Lapping however with a consistently fast pace for the duration of the 26-lap race, he didn’t give up and was able to cross the line in final fifteenth position. Badovini, ninth on the grid, was lying thirteenth at the end of the opening lap. Ayrton demonstrated good pace in the initial stages of the race but during the second half he had more difficulty keeping up with those immediately ahead of him. During the course of the nineteenth lap, the Ducati Alstare rider went long at turn six, unfortunately crashing in the gravel in order to not hit the barriers. He was unable to return to the track and his race therefore came to an end there.
Ayrton Badovini: “I’m ok and haven’t done any more physical damage luckily, I just went straight and finished in the sand. Physically my foot wasn’t so much the problem, I was just getting tired because I haven’t been able to train properly in recent weeks. I want to thank the Clinica Mobile for all its help and support this weekend. I’m not happy because we’re worked on the bike but we haven’t been able to find the right set-up. We’ll need to work more on the set-up at Magny-Cours in order to understand which direction to move in.”
Niccolò Canepa: “It’s a pity about the race results, especially race 2 as I felt good and was keeping pace with those in front without too much difficulty. The changes we made this morning were very useful and the front of the bike gave me a good feeling. Unfortunately Melandri forced me a little wide through the second turn and, not wanting to lose ground, I pushed too hard and crashed. Luckily the bike was ok even if the gear shifter was broken, and I was able to return to the track and finish the race. Summing up the weekend I think we’ve done a good job here, considering our performance in the practices and qualifying. We were able to place inside the top five in several sessions, and qualify fourth. I think we’ve demonstrated this weekend that the bike can run up at the front and, if we had more time and more races during which to work, it would surely become easier and more enjoyable.”
RESULTS: Race 2 – 1. Laverty (Aprilia); 2. Giugliano (Aprilia); 3. Melandri (BMW)… 15. Canepa (Ducati Alstare)… DNF Badovini (Ducati Alstare)
Riders - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 361; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 338; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 337; 4. Melandri (BMW) 319; 5. Davies (BMW) 259; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 180; 7. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 177; 8. Rea (Honda) 176... 12. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 114... 15. Checa (Ducati Alstare) 80... 21. Canepa (Ducati Alstare) 12
Manufacturers– 1. Aprilia 460; 2. Kawasaki 415; 3. BMW 390; 4. Honda 225; 5. Suzuki 212; 6. Ducati 152; 7. Yamaha 4