Rain continued during the afternoon meaning that riders had to face a similarly wet first qualifying session.
Assen (The Netherlands): Team SBK Ducati Alstare was faced with cold and wet conditions for today’s first qualifying session at the historic TT Circuit of Assen; sixth position for Ayrton Badovini and ninth for Carlos Checa on the Dutch track this afternoon.
Riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini took to a wet track for the first free practice session this morning. Rain showers continued throughout the morning but despite the tricky conditions the Ducati Alstare pair was able to complete a series of laps, with Ayrton in particular improving as the session went on.
Rain continued during the afternoon meaning that riders had to face a similarly wet first qualifying session. Both riders made significant improvement with respect to the morning’s session, with Checa lowering his time by almost a second while Badovini lapped almost three seconds quicker than he had earlier in the day.
Unfortunately the young Italian rider suffered a small crash in the final minutes of qualifying but, unhurt, he nevertheless finished in overall sixth position with a best time of 1’59.7, one of only six riders to lap in under 2 minutes this afternoon.
Carlos, who worked with the technicians to prepare a good base setting suitable for the wet conditions, closed with a fastest lap of 2’01.7.
Ayrton Badovini: ‘We’ve worked well today. It’s a pity I crashed right at the end but it can happen in these conditions, and I didn’t get hurt thankfully.
I must say that the two days we spent in Jerez have made a difference and today I have felt that the bike is really becoming mine, I feel more comfortable as far as my riding position is concerned.
I’m sure that we’ll be able to improve further tomorrow, whatever the conditions might be like.’
Carlos Checa: ‘Today, in view of the conditions, we worked on identifying a good wet setting for the bike in case of future wet races. We’ve worked well, trying to see how the bike reacts in these conditions, how the tyres behave etc.
We made some changes between the morning and afternoon sessions and I think we’ve made progress. I’m feeling confident, and forecasts show that it should be dry for the rest of the weekend so our aim is to improve our package as much as possible in preparation for Sunday’s races.’