Round 6, Sepang, Malaysia
Saturday qualifying & Superpole, 7th June
Conditions: Dry, sunny/cloudy 32-35C (air), 50-60C (track)
Despite a crash by Ayrton Badovini in Superpole 1, Team Bimota Alstare are happy and looking forward to tomorrow’s pair of 16-lap races at the Sepang circuit. Both Ayrton and team mate Christian Iddon had comfortably qualified for this afternoon’s Superpole and were optimistic about their chances of advancing into Superpole 2. Both started Superpole 1 well and were in the top three until a crash, six minutes into the session, ruined Badovini’s prospects. Christian looked to be fairing better, but lost out on Superpole 2 by just two tenths of a second in the last frantic moments. He ended 5th in Superpole and will start from the fifth row of the grid, with Ayrton just behind him on row six.
Christian Iddon – 3rd EVO Class, 2:06.012
“We changed the set-up of the bike this morning and there was an immediate improvement and it was easier to ride and turn. For Free Practice 4, we worked on the traction control system. It is good that we’ve got it, but bad because we’ve only got it halfway through the season and now we have to try and understand it before we can progress. So, basically, we just need more time. But the potential is there for us to be able to go faster. We’re also working on improving the engine braking. We’re all happy that we are doing so well already, but we’re all itching for the next step … or two!
I am still learning about Qualifying tyres and I haven’t fully understood them and how much I can push them. I was happy to get through Superpole because before it, I felt pretty rough. On the first lap of Superpole, I threw up in my helmet, which wasn’t a particular good feeling. I thought I’d got rid of it, but I did notice what looked like a bit of cabbage in the next lap or so! Hopefully there’ll be no such problems tomorrow.”
Ayrton Badovini – 6th EVO Class, 2:06.808
“First of all, I’d like to say sorry to my team for the crash in Superpole 1 – and the extra work they will have to do now. I lost the front on a right-hander and down the bike went. I think that maybe it was a little mistake by me. We had changed the bike since the poor session yesterday and the bike felt a lot better. That meant that I could push harder … and that’s what I did. Unfortunately, I think I may have pushed a bit too hard and that’s why I crashed.
But before that, I was pretty happy with bike because I had a good feeling for it, which means that I am ready to race. At the moment, I do not think that we’ll change anything in tomorrow morning’s warm-up.”
Francis Batta (Team Manager)
“Seeing a rider crash is never good, and it’s always a bit worse when the rider is one of your own. Fortunately Ayrton was OK and probably a bit angry with himself. There was a small window in Superpole 1, when it looked like both Christian and Ayrton might get in to Superpole 2, but he crash ruined that for Ayrton. Christian also looked as if he would advance, but his chance faded as his qualifying tyre deteriorated. Nevertheless, we are making a lot of progress and, as long as we do that, we all know that progress will continue.”