Round 6, Sepang, Malaysia
Friday practice & qualifying
Conditions: Dry, sunny/cloudy 30-31C (air), 42-41C (track)
Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon made a positive start on the opening day of the sixth round of this year’s World Superbike Championship at Sepang circuit. This was the first visit to the track for both Ayrton and Christian and much of today’s sessions were taken up learning this technically difficult track. The hot and humid temperatures didn’t help, but both riders worked hard during the two sessions and were able to give the team a lot of feedback at the end of the day.
Christian Iddon – 15th, 2:06.981
“This was a new track for all of us to learn and it is a bit of a strange one because some parts are quite simple and some parts are not simple at all and so it takes time to understand it properly. For the afternoon session we made the bike a bit stiffer and lengthened the gear ratios to make it easier to ride and I was able to take well over a second off my morning lap time.I am not sure about the grip at the moment, but maybe I don’t have a great feeling about it because of the high temperatures.
I was pretty happy this afternoon because I was able to follow some of the factory riders and they weren’t able to pull away much – and that felt good.I have trained really hard for this race and was completely prepared for the heat and the humidity. At the end of the day, I felt absolutely OK and that made me happy about the hard work I’d put in.”
Ayrton Badovini – 18th 2:07.582
“I am not happy because this afternoon I think we went in the wrong direction and weren’t able to improve as much as we should have. We made some changes to the bike from the morning session, but it was more difficult to ride and I couldn’t push hard. During this afternoon’s session we did try and change the bike back to our morning set-up, but the session wasn’t really long enough to do as much as we wanted.
This track is difficult to learn because there are some parts where you cannot see the exit to the turns, so track knowledge is crucial. As I put in more laps, I am sure I will go quicker and quicker, but first we need the bike to work for this track.”
Francis Batta (Team Manager)
“Some of the riders have been to this circuit before, but it is a new one for Christian and Ayrton and the team, so I am pretty satisfied with what we achieved today. It was very hot and humid, but both riders have been training hard and I think it has paid off. This circuit is not an easy one to learn, but I am sure that both riders will make significant improvements tomorrow and will be much closer to the leaders.”