The Superbikes return to Aragón as Team SBK Ducati Alstare prepares to embark on the European tour.
Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini are all set to continue their quest in this weekend's second round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship, taking place at MotorLand Aragón in Spain.
Round 1 of the 2013 championship concluded over a month ago at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia but the opening event unfortunately did not go smoothly for either rider. Ayrton could not participate in the races due to a foot fracture and Carlos' fall in raceone prevented him from taking part in the second race - he too came away from Australia with a fractured foot and both riders have spent time recuperating in recent weeks.
The upcoming Aragón round therefore provides a clean slate for both Checa and Badovini who, unableto show their potential at Phillip Island, will both be doing their utmost to prove themselves this weekend.
2012 marks the Superbikes third visit to ‘La Ciudad del Motor de Aragón. Checa's ‘home'track, the local rider was honoured when circuit organisers dedicated acorner to him, turning the third corner of the track into ‘curva CarlosCheca'.
Carlos has reached the podium on two occasions, scoring a third place finish in both 2011 and 2012 while Ayrton's best finish at Aragón to date was eighth place in 2011.
‘Physicallyspeaking I'm more or less OK. I still can't really go cycling or running but I've been training at the gym and don't expect to have any real trouble riding the bike. I feel strong from a mental point of view too, I'm ready for the next races.
Until we're there on track I can'treally make predictions. We'll start with our base set-up and then, once I'm on the bike we'll see what we need to do - it always depends onthe conditions, levels of grip, the tyres and their consumption... I was in Aragón last week to see the development team that was testing; they worked a lot on the electronics, that are working well, and with the antispin. We can't do those kind of tests during a race weekend as they're time-consuming and we only have one bike of course, so the work that they've done during testing should give us some useful information,useful parameters. In Aragón I hope to be able to continue to improve, both in terms of the bike and myself.'
Checa's Superbike form at Aragón:
2012: Race 1- 3rd, Race 2 - 7th
2011: Race 1- DNF, Race 2 - 3rd
‘Atthe gym I've concentrated on working on my upper body and my arms because I can still do very little as far as my legs are concerned. At the start it was very risky to put weight on my foot and so I was on crutches until a few days ago. Now I can walk quite well, and navigate stairs etc. but I don't yet have full mobility of my foot. I've worked with the Clinica Mobile staff, we've tried putting on my boot, assuming the riding position and nothing really hurt so I don't expect to have any real problems riding - it shouldn't be too bad on the footpeg.
RegardingAragón, it's a track that I enjoy. In this case it's an advantage for me that it's not a very physical track, so I have chance to rest a bit, and that it fortunately won't be very hot. We still have the issue of the two straights of course so we'll be working to compensate for that, but I'm feeling positive.'
Badovini's Superbike form at Aragón:
2012: Race 1- DNF, Race 2 - 9th
2011: Race 1- 8th, Race 2 - 10th
Circuit: MotorLand Aragón
Length: 5.345 km
Pole Position: right
Race distance: 20 laps = 106.880 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap - Melandri (BMW) 1'58.251 (2012). Superpole - Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'56.522 (2012).
2012RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Melandri (Yamaha); 3. Checa (Ducati). Race 2 - 1. Melandri (BMW); 2. Laverty (Aprilia); 3. Davies (Aprilia)