These just in from Germany:
Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare celebrate pole position today at the Nurburgring
Nurburgring (Germany), Saturday 31 August 2013: at the end of an extremely hard-fought Superpole, which took place in wet conditions today at the German Nurburgring, it was Ayrton Badovini and Team SBK Ducati Alstare who snatched pole position this afternoon, the second pole of the season for the team and the first of Badovini's career in the Superbike category.
In second qualifying, which took place this morning on a cooler track than yesterday (18˚C), Badovini was able to improve significantly on yesterday's times, lowering his best time by more than a second to record a 1'55.0 that projected him into tenth position. A small crash in the final stages caused him to lose valuable time but he nevertheless maintained tenth position. Carlos, having lost all of yesterday afternoon's session due to a crash, worked hard with his technicians but unfortunately his fastest lap was not enough to qualify for the Superpole. The Spaniard will thus line up for tomorrow's race in eighteenth position on the grid.
Conditions were cloudy but dry for the final free practice session in the early afternoon. Carlos made slight improvement thanks to modifications made by his team prior to the session and closed fourteenth while Badovini lapped with fairly constant times to conclude twelfth.
Superpole 1 (wet): It started to rain just minutes before the start of the session. Ayrton immediately found himself up front and remained inside the top five for the duration of the phase. The lap times of all riders gradually dropped throughout the session but it was the Ducati Alstare flagbearer who finished first with a fastest lap recorded in the final seconds (2'13.4).
Superpole 2 (wet): It had practically stopped raining by the time the second phase got going. At his ease on the extremely wet track, Ayrton again pushed hard to record some very fast lap times. Times again came down despite the fact that the track was becoming increasingly slippery. The fight with Melandri for pole position came down to the wire and it was Badovini's very last lap that awarded him the pole position. Thanks to a time of 2'09.5, the young Italian snatched not only his first pole of the season but the first of his Superbike career!
Ayrton Badovini: "I'm really happy with the result. I knew that if it was wet we'd have the chance to qualify on the front row but I didn't expect to be on pole, it's fantastic! Towards the end of the second phase the track was getting more and more slippery, it was risky but I wanted to give it my all, to see if we could finish on top and we did it. In those kind of conditions, the union between my 1199 Panigale and my ability in the wet works perfectly. I'm enjoying this moment; this result is for the team that has worked so hard since the start of the season. We haven't formulated a strategy for the races yet but to start out in front will surely be an advantage."
Carlos Checa: "We've been trying a few different things since testing in Misano but I haven't yet found the right feeling with the bike here at the Nurburgring. The crash yesterday didn't help matters of course, as I lost both a lot of time and confidence. I can't say exactly what the problem is. I need to be able to ride the bike more smoothly; it's hard to make it turn through the corners. It's clear that we need different weight distribution here. I hope that, between today and tomorrow, we can find a solution that can help us in the races. My compliments to Ayrton for a great Superpole today."
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 2'09.5; 2. Melandri (BMW) 2'09.6; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2'10.1; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 2'10.4; 5. Rea (Honda) 2'11.2; 6. Haslam (Honda) 2'12.0; 7. Davies (BMW) 2'12.6; 7. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2'13.1; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 2'14.4... 18. Checa (Ducati Alstare)
THE APRILIA RACING RIDERS STRUGGLE TO FIND THE RIGHT FEELING IN A WET SUPERPOLE AT THE NÜRBURGRING.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI WILL START FROM THE THIRD ROW AND EUGENE LAVERTY FROM THE FOURTH. IN ANY CASE, BOTH RIDERS WILL BE ABLE TO COUNT ON AN EXCELLENT RACE PACE.
Nürburgring, 31 August 2013 - The Nürburgring Superpole was a rainy one today. Therefore Race Direction opted for the two 20 minute sessions during which the riders competed with wet set-ups.
In the first part of Superpole Sylvain Guintoli rather easily managed to qualify in the top nine which moved him forward into Superpole 2. In the continuous reshuffling of positions that is typical when weather conditions are difficult and variable, Sylvain stopped the clock with the third best time which kept hopes high for the final bout. However, the second 20 minute session had the French championship leader struggling more than he should have with some problems pushing his RSV4 to the limit on the German track. His position in the championship standings and the residual pain in his shoulder convinced him not to take any pointless risks, ending Superpole with the eighth best time which means he'll be starting from the third row on the starting grid tomorrow.
In any case Sylvain is encouraged by the race pace he demonstrated in the two sessions prior to Superpole, where he confirmed that he is able to maintain a good pace in the dry.
Sylvain Guintoli: "The positive thing about today is that we worked really well on our pace. I feel like I'm ready for the races. Superpole didn't go as I had hoped. I really struggled to find my pace on in the wet and that will force me to work overtime tomorrow. It looks like the races will be held in the dry and that's good for us, but in any case we'll have to overtake a lot of riders since we're starting from behind. I hope my RSV4's power will make a comeback a bit simpler!" .
For Eugene Laverty Superpole didn't exactly go as planned either. The Northern Irish rider had to deal with a demanding set up since there wasn't enough time to completely convert the bike to wet settings. Eugene struggled from the start, unable to get into the top nine and therefore forced to retire for the day after Superpole 1. His final time puts him in twelfth place (fourth row) and is certainly not the result he had hoped for. However, like his team mate Eugene says that he is confident after seeing the good times he put in on a dry track in the two sessions leading up to Superpole.
Eugene Laverty: "It wasn't exactly an ideal Superpole. It was definitely the worst qualifier of the season and that doesn't make things easy for the races tomorrow. It's a shame because in the free practice sessions the bike was really going fast on the used tyres. I'm certain that we'll be able to be competitive in the second part of the race, but the problem will be the first few laps since we're starting from the fourth row. In Superpole the bike settings were still oriented too much to dry conditions since the sudden rain didn't give us time to change it over completely. These things happen. Even one more lap would have been enough to gain enough confidence and maybe move up a few positions on the grid".
WSBK Press Office
Ayrton Badovini gets maiden Tissot-Superpole win
Nurburgring (Germany), Saturday 31 August 2013 - Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) scored a long awaited Tissot-Superpole win today at the Nurburgring, bringing the 1199 R on the top slot of the grid for the second time this year, after Carlos Checa's performance in the first round of the season at Phillip Island. As drops of rain started to fall few minutes before the start, the Tissot-Superpole was held under wet rules, with two sessions of 20 minutes each. Badovini seemed very comfortable under this type of conditions and led both Superpole 1 and 2 for the joy of team owner Francis Batta and his squad.
The battle for the front row positions for tomorrow's two races was very close, and Badovini had to push hard to outperform fellow Italian Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GolBet), who was second at the flag ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team). The Brit managed to get an encouraging result despite a crash he had, in the final minutes, at Turn 3.
Despite his usual confidence under rain conditions, Sykes' team mate Loris Baz was fourth ahead of Pata Honda duo of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam. Even leader in qualifying Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GolBet), seventh, lost control of his bike during the second session, as well as ninth place Jules Cluzel who high-sided at the first turn while accelerating to exit the corner. Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) finished between the two above-mentioned riders in eighth place.
A disappointing Superpole for the other factory Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty, who's going to start tomorrow's races from the fourth row of the grid, after finishing twelfth behind Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Ducati) and Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki).
Tissot-Superpole times: 1. Badovini (Ducati) 2'09.513 average 142.790 kph; 2. Melandri (BMW) 2'09.616; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2'10.136; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 2'10.401; 5. Rea (Honda) 2'11.204; 6. Haslam (Honda) 2'12.006; 7. Davies (BMW) 2'12.663; 8. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2'13.177; 9. Cluzel (Suzuki) 2'14.454; 10. Neukirchner (Ducati); 11. Camier (Suzuki); 12. Laverty (Aprilia); 13. Fabrizio (Aprilia); 14. Giugliano (Aprilia); 15. Smrz (Yamaha).
Second row for Rea and Haslam in Germany
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam will line up alongside each other on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's two tenth-round World Superbike championship races at the Nürburgring in Germany after today's final Superpole qualifying sessions.
Superpole was declared wet as rain began to fall on the 5.137km circuit just minutes before SP1 was due to start. It consequently reverted to two 20-minute sessions with six of the 15 qualifying riders eliminated at the break.
Both Pata Honda riders made it through to Superpole 2, with Rea setting the fifth fastest time and Haslam a few tenths off in sixth place. Italian rider Ayrton Badovini will start tomorrow's two 20-lap races from pole position.
Jonathan Rea - 5th, 2m11.204s
Superpole was frustrating in those conditions because we really needed another dry session to try a different arrangement with the front. But the weather was what it was and when the track was fully wet I had a really good feeling with the bike. As soon as it began to dry I had no entry traction. It's been an issue with the bike's wet setting for many years and is a combination of engine brake control at the apex and the chassis setting. I really hope tomorrow morning is dry because I don't have enough pace. It's consistent but I need to find a bit more time, which I think we can do. All in all, though, it's been a pretty satisfactory Superpole.
Leon Haslam - 6th, 2m12.006s
We've mande some good steps in the dry over the weekend, so I'm happy with today. The rain threw a spanner in the works for Superpole and we need to work on a better wet set up but we've got a clear direction for that. The summer break has done my leg some good and it's nice to be back in the top spots. We've been working on the first sector here and we managed to find the time with some rear settings, which made all the difference in the dry. It's been tough in the last few races having to fight my way through, but we should be able to have a good go from row two.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We tried some different things for Jonathan in the dry but they didn't really help and he missed out on a chance to get some rhythm. He should be OK if it's dry tomorrow but I'm positive he could have improved on fifth if his settings had been a little better. In the second free practice Leon managed to find a breakthrough and was second fastest with a really good lap time. I'm happy to see him up there and I think both he and Jonathan can fight for the podium tomorrow.