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Close, But Not Close Enough

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2014 World Superbike Championship

Round 8, Autodromo do Algarve, Portimao

Final qualifying & Superpole, Saturday 5th, July

Conditions: Sunny, dry 2749C (air), C (track)

Having qualified comfortably for Superpole 1 today, Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon missed out on getting into Superpole 2 by the narrowest of margins. During Superpole 1, both were in contention until the final moments of the fifteen-minute session. Ayrton then suffered lack of rear grip with his qualifying tyre and finished one place adrift of entering Superpole 2. Christian was also on course to get into Superpole 2, but lost time in the first two sectors on his qualifying tyre and slipped down the order to finish fifth in the session.  Both riders will start tomorrow’s pair of 20-lap races from the fifth row of the grid but their race pace is good, so they hope to be battling for good results and ending the top EVO bike.

Ayrton Badovini – 3rd EVO, 1:44.472

“The day started well enough, but I am not happy because when I used the qualifying tyre in Superpole, I didn’t find any good rear grip. Because of that, I was unable to push any harder. That was a little frustrating because we were so close to qualifying for Superpole 2. As they say, close, but not close enough.

The bike behaves differently on qualifying tyres and that’s why we have this kind of a problem in Superpole. However, my race pace is normally good and I think I can get some good results tomorrow – especially if I get good starts.”

Christian Iddon – 5th EVO, 1:44.971

“Today was actually quite a productive day because we tried a few different things and certainly made a step in the right direction in the morning. This afternoon’s free practice was interesting because the bike felt different to what the data was telling us, so that gives us something to think about.

I was disappointed with myself in Superpole because I don’t think I really made the best use of the Qualifying tyre. At one stage, I was up on my first two sectors, but then lost time in the last sector and that was the difference between getting into Superpole 2 or not. I think that my bike behaves differently on qualifying tyres to race rubber. It’s a bit of a nuisance to have to set the bike up for a Q tyre, just to get a good grid position, and then set the bike up again for the races.”