Alcaniz (Spain), Saturday 13 April 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini experienced another challenging day on track at MotorLand Aragon today. In the second Superpole of the 2013 championship Checa qualified in tenth position and Badovini in thirteenth, meaning they will line up on the fourth and fifth rows of the grid respectively in tomorrow’s races.
During second qualifying this morning, and on a much cooler track than yesterday, both Ducati Alstare riders improved in terms of lap time on board their Ducati 1199 Panigale bikes. While Carlos recorded a 1’59.6 in the final stages, improving on his best time set yesterday by four tenths, Ayrton closed with a best time of 2’00.1, half a second quicker than yesterday. Thanks to these times both Ducati Alstare riders therefore qualified for Superpole in thirteenth and fourteenth position.
Superpole 1 – Carlos made a first exit on a race tyre but, finding himself ninth after making one fast lap, he decided together with his team to go out on a qualifier. Thanks to a lap time of 1’59.0, he closed in final twelfth position, thus progressing to the second phase. Ayrton, who didn’t race in Australia, was therefore using the new qualifying tyre for the first time here at Aragon. He recorded a best time of 1’59.4, coming in just behind his team-mate in thirteenth position. Unfortunately, with only the top twelve progressing to the second phase, this meant that his Superpole came to a close there.
Superpole 2 – Checa followed the same strategy in this second phase, making a fast lap on race rubber before going back out on the second qualifier. His best time, a 1’58.3, positioned him tenth at the end of the phase; he missed out on the third phase by a fraction of a second.
Carlos Checa: ‘We’re worked quite well but our current limits prevented us from progressing further than the second stage. It’s a shame that we missed out on the final phase by such a small margin but I don’t think there is much difference between ninth and tenth position in the end. We’re still having problems through different sections of the track and the others have better top speed of course. Tomorrow will be a really challenging race day – the gap between us and the leaders is pretty big. I can only do my best and we’ll see…’
Ayrton Badovini: ‘It’s the first time that I’ve used the new qualifying tyre and I definitely didn’t get as much out of it as I could have. It wasn’t at all easy. During the sessions I’ve started to improve the feeling I have with the bike but we still have a lot of work to do to resolve the problems we’re having, especially exiting the corners. Tomorrow I cannot say how it’ll go – we don’t know what our race pace will be like. Of course we don’t expect to be able to stick with those right at the front but I hope to be able to battle with the group in front of me.’
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’56.3; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’56.6; 3. Davies (BMW) 1’56.8; 4. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’57.4; 5. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1’57.5; 6.Baz (Kawasaki) 1’57.8; 7. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’57.9; 8. Melandri (BMW) 1’58.2… 10. Checa (Ducati Alstare) 1’58.3…. 13. Giugliano (Ducati Alstare) 1’59.4