Portimão (Portugal), Tuesday 4th June 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare and riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini prepare to travel towards the ‘Autódromo Internacional do Algarve’ in Portimão, Portugal for the sixth round of the 2013 World Superbike Championship taking place this coming weekend.
Just over a week since round 5 at Donington Park in the UK, both Checa and Badovini are enthusiastic about returning to the Portuguese track in what will hopefully be sunny conditions. Carlos is continuing with intensive physiotherapy in order to be as prepared as possible for the next races. His left shoulder is responding well to treatment and the Spaniard is working extremely hard to get back in shape.
The 2011 World Champion has reached the Portimão rostrum on more than one occasion in recent years, both as a race winner and as a runner-up, and always enjoys racing at this particular circuit. Ayrton, having finished race one at Donington in eleventh position while unfortunately suffering a fall in the second, is focusing on scoring two solid results come Sunday. The Italian’s best result to date at the Portuguese track was a sixth place finish in 2011.
“My aim is to regain strength and prepare as well as possible for this weekend’s races. At Donington I was probably around a 6 out of 10 but now I feel like an 8. I’m going to the gym and continuing with physiotherapy every day here in Spain and am in contact with the Clinica Mobile who will help me with treatments throughout the race weekend. We’ll have to see how I am once I complete race distance but the Portimão track should be less of a problem than Donington, one of the most physical layouts. To be honest I thought I could have done race 2 at Donington but I thank Francis and Ernesto for having made me see that it was best to sit it out – it was the right decision because my shoulder’s had time to regain strength and stability. I’d like recovery to be quicker but I understand that, now I’m 40, maybe it takes a little longer. I hope I can soon put this behind me and concentrate instead on my technical growth with the bike.”
Checa’s Superbike form at Portimão:
2012: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 5th
2011: Race 1- winner, Race 2 – 4th
2010: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 4th
2009: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – DNF
2008: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – 7th
“Portimão’s a track that I really like although I’ve never been particularly fast there during races, only during winter testing. I’m feeling confident anyway. We should be able to make the most of some decent weather there in June and technically-speaking the track shouldn’t be so difficult for us and the Panigale, actually it might even help us out. I’m feeling very motivated and look forward to the weekend, perhaps it might even mark a turning point for us.”
Badovini’s Superbike form at Portimão:
2012: Race 1 – 9th, Race 2 – 6th
2011: Race 1- 13th, Race 2 – 9th
2008: Race 1 – 11th, Race 2 – 16th
Name: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Length of circuit: 4.445 km
Pole Position: left
Race distance: 22 laps/101.024 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’42.774 (2010). Superpole – Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’41.415 (2012).
2012 RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Checa (Ducati); 3. Guintoli (Ducati). Race 2 – 1. Laverty (Aprilia); 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Biaggi (Aprilia)