Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 28 April 2013: today’s Superbike races at the TT Circuit in Assen proved challenging for Team SBK Ducati Alstare. While Carlos Checa was unable to confirm the positive results seen during the practice and qualifying sessions, Ayrton Badovini was unfortunately conditioned by physical problems resulting from yesterday’s crash.
Race 1 – starting from eighth on the grid, Carlos was able to hold this position throughout the opening laps, before battling briefly with Cluzel and Camier. From the mid-race point he found himself lapping alone, with no reference immediately ahead of him. With a similar pace to the riders ahead of him, the Spanish rider was unable to improve his position and closed the race in final tenth position. It was a different story for Ayrton who, eleventh on the grid, tried his best to push but unfortunately, in addition to injuries sustained to his hand and ankle during yesterday’s crash, a neck pain that worsened as the race went on brought on blurred vision which made it difficult for the rider to concentrate. He lost a couple of positions as a result, before running a solitary second half of the race and crossing the line in a valiant thirteenth position.
Race 2 – On a slightly warmer track compared to race 1 (25˚C) Carlos lost a few positions at the start of the race and was lying twelfth on the second lap directly in front of his team-mate Ayrton. The Spanish rider pushed to make up a couple of positions and by mid-race he was in tenth place behind Fabrizio. Despite his best efforts he was unable to close the gap that opened between himself and the Roman rider and he crossed the line in tenth position for the second time today. Ayrton, also thanks to the support of the Clinica Mobile between the first and second races, had a stronger pace this afternoon compared to the first race. Thirteenth on the grid, he too was able to improve his position over the course of the 22-lap race to bring his 1199 Panigale home in eleventh place behind Carlos.
In the overall standings Checa is now in twelfth position with 29 points and Badovini lies fifteenth with 20 points.
Carlos Checa: ‘In reality I thought I’d be able to do more today and bring the bike to the next level. In race one the rear of the bike caused me some problems so we made some changes before the second race and that improved the situation slightly. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but this does not put us off. I’m aware that this is a challenge and I will do my best to improve the bike race after race.’
Ayrton Badovini: ‘The second race went better for me because I was really suffering this morning. I visited the Clinica Mobile between the two races and they really helped me a lot with a series of treatments that allowed me to push harder in the second race. The bike was not bad but we still need something more in order to be competitive. I wasn’t 100% of course and so I’m happy to have finished both races because after what happened yesterday I thought it would be even more difficult today.’
Francis Batta, team manager: ‘This weekend was unfortunately more difficult than we expected but this does not discourage us, in fact it heightens our motivation to continue to work and improve.’
RESULTS: Race 1 – 1.Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Guintoli (Aprilia). Race 2 – 1. Laverty (Aprilia); 2. Sykes (Kawasaki); 3. Baz (Kawasaki)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders -1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 111; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 83; 3. Davies (BMW) 83; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 83; 5. Rea (Honda) 63; 6. Baz (Kawasaki) 58; 7. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 53; 8. Melandri (BMW) 51… 12. Checa (Ducati Alstare) 29… 15. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 20. Manufacturers – 1. Aprilia 131; 2. BMW 99; 3. Kawasaki 94; 4. Honda 70; 5. Suzuki 52; 6. Ducati 40