Christian Iddon and Ayrton Badovini surprised their rivals by topping the leaderboard.
Both Team Bimota Alstare riders Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon defied difficult conditions today, putting on their best performances of the season so far, finishing 1st and 2nd quickest in the EVO class in Superpole. At one stage in this morning’s free practice, which took place on a half dry, half wet track, Christian and Ayrton surprised their rivals by topping the leaderboard. At the end of this morning’s 30-minute practice, Ayrton finished 2nd and Christian 5th.
Both had already easily qualified for Superpole 1 and things were looking good during the 15-minute session, despite the heavy rain on the 4.023 kilometre circuit. Christian led for a while, but then Toni Elias took over, leaving the rest to fight over the remaining place in Superpole 2. Ayrton then put in a superb lap of 1: 49.267, to take second spot, but then fell off in the slippery conditions. Although Ayrton got back to the pitbox in time to take part in Superpole 2, his bike did not and so he was unable to progress any further.
Ayrton Badovini - 12th - 1st EVO CLASS: “I am happy because this was my best ever result in qualifying and I am sorry for the team because of the crash. The conditions were treacherous out there and my crash was a funny one because it took a long time and I really thought I’d saved it until the bike once again changed direction. The bike ended up on my right leg with the clutch lever digging into my calf muscle and it felt quite painful for a while.
The marshals came and lifted the bike off my leg and fortunately I was able to walk away OK. I got back to pits without a problem and was ready to take part in Superpole 2, but unfortunately the bike didn’t get back in time to put in any laps and so I ended 12th. This is the problem with the one bike rule and I hope they change it in the future because I don’t think it is good for the show.
But these things happen and, as I am pretty happy with my set-up in the dry, I do not mind what the conditions are tomorrow. This track has some very slippery parts (the run down to Craner Curves for example) and you have to be very careful. I hope that it will either be dry or wet, because it is very hard to race when the conditions are neither one thing nor the other.”
Christian Iddon - 13th- 2nd EVO CLASS: “I’m happy because I managed to keep the bike on two wheels despite the tricky conditions – and that wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was more luck, than judgement, but it was very slippery out there today. I had a lot of ‘moments’ and almost managed a handstand on the bike once or twice. This morning’s session was dry/wet and we didn’t manage to collect a lot of data, so hopefully tomorrow will be one or the other – not both!
It was good to see my name at the top of the time sheets for a while and my aim was to get into Superpole 2. But, I just missed out right at the end. I’m not bothered about the conditions tomorrow – it will be the same for everybody and we will just have to manage them. At the moment, we need to find out what’s happening to the rear in the wet, because I could’ve gone faster if my feeling for the rear had been better.”
Francis Batta - Team Manager: “It was a very difficult day and I am very happy with the performance of both riders. It was a shame that Ayrton’s bike did not get back in time for Superpole 2, because he’s normally very good in the wet. But the crash ruined everything and he couldn’t do the session. The good news is that he wasn’t injured, though I’m sure he’ll be a bit sore tomorrow morning.
Christian also had a tough day – as did all the riders - but he kept the bike upright in the wet and was one of the fastest in Superpole 1 and in this morning’s mixed conditions. Tomorrow will be very interesting – especially if there are mixed conditions – but I think the best thing for the fans will be if it is dry.”