Nurburgring (Germany), Saturday 31 August 2013: at the end of an extremely hard-fought Superpole, which took place in wet conditions today at the German Nurburgring, it was Ayrton Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare who snatched pole position this afternoon, the second pole of the season for the team and the first of Badovini’s career in the Superbike category.
In second qualifying, which took place this morning on a cooler track than yesterday (18˚C), Badovini was able to improve significantly on yesterday’s times, lowering his best time by more than a second to record a 1’55.0 that projected him into tenth position. A small crash in the final stages caused him to lose valuable time but he nevertheless maintained tenth position. Carlos, having lost all of yesterday afternoon’s session due to a crash, worked hard with his technicians but unfortunately his fastest lap was not enough to qualify for the Superpole. The Spaniard will thus line up for tomorrow’s race in eighteenth position on the grid.
Conditions were cloudy but dry for the final free practice session in the early afternoon. Carlos made slight improvement thanks to modifications made by his team prior to the session and closed fourteenth while Badovini lapped with fairly constant times to conclude twelfth.
Superpole 1 (wet): It started to rain just minutes before the start of the session. Ayrton immediately found himself up front and remained inside the top five for the duration of the phase. The lap times of all riders gradually dropped throughout the session but it was the Ducati Alstare flagbearer who finished first with a fastest lap recorded in the final seconds (2’13.4).
Superpole 2 (wet): It had practically stopped raining by the time the second phase got going. At his ease on the extremely wet track, Ayrton again pushed hard to record some very fast lap times. Times again came down despite the fact that the track was becoming increasingly slippery. The fight with Melandri for pole position came down to the wire and it was Badovini’s very last lap that awarded him the pole position. Thanks to a time of 2’09.5, the young Italian snatched not only his first pole of the season but the first of his Superbike career!
Ayrton Badovini: “I’m really happy with the result. I knew that if it was wet we’d have the chance to qualify on the front row but I didn’t expect to be on pole, it’s fantastic! Towards the end of the second phase the track was getting more and more slippery, it was risky but I wanted to give it my all, to see if we could finish on top and we did it. In those kind of conditions, the union between my 1199 Panigale and my ability in the wet works perfectly. I’m enjoying this moment; this result is for the team that has worked so hard since the start of the season. We haven’t formulated a strategy for the races yet but to start out in front will surely be an advantage.”
Carlos Checa: “We’ve been trying a few different things since testing in Misano but I haven’t yet found the right feeling with the bike here at the Nurburgring. The crash yesterday didn’t help matters of course, as I lost both a lot of time and confidence. I can’t say exactly what the problem is. I need to be able to ride the bike more smoothly; it’s hard to make it turn through the corners. It’s clear that we need different weight distribution here. I hope that, between today and tomorrow, we can find a solution that can help us in the races. My compliments to Ayrton for a great Superpole today.”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 2’09.5; 2. Melandri (BMW) 2’09.6; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’10.1; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 2’10.4; 5. Rea (Honda) 2’11.2; 6. Haslam (Honda) 2’12.0; 7. Davies (BMW) 2’12.6; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2’13.1; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 2’14.4… 18. Checa (Ducati Alstare)