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Sep 10, 2013

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Checa Says He Has Higher Hopes For Success At Laguna Seca Than At Istanbul

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Carlos Checa (7).
Team SBK Ducati Alstare prepares to face a new challenge: Istanbul Park

Istanbul (Turkey), Tuesday 10 September 2013: Ten days after the last event at the Nurburgring in Germany, team SBK Ducati Alstare and its riders Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini pack their bags once more and head now to Turkey for round eleven of the 2013 World Superbike Championship. This weekend it is Intercity Istanbul Park that will host the Superbikes for the very first time, and the entire team is extremely interested to see and compete at this ‘new’ track.

During the latest round in Germany, Badovini achieved a career first, scoring pole position for the first time in the Superbike series at the end of what turned out to be a wet and very hard-fought Superpole. On race day, and in dry conditions, Ayrton and Carlos achieved four top-ten finishes between them.

Now attention focuses on the upcoming weekend. Inaugurated in 2005, Istanbul Park is the only track on the 2013 calendar to have never featured on the Superbike schedule before although a few of the riders, Checa included, have competed at the track in the past, in the MotoGP championship. As far as the Superbikes are concerned however, Istanbul presents a new challenge that both Ducati Alstare riders plan to relish.

On Wednesday evening, the Ducati owners club 'Ducatistanbul' will welcome Carlos, Ayrton and members of the team during a dinner that the club has organised especially to mark the occasion.

Carlos Checa:
“It’s been six years since I last raced at Istanbul so it’ll be interesting to return and see how it is on board the Ducati Superbike. From what I remember it’s a really great track with a bit of everything, it offers good grip, has undulating sections, a long straight... Maybe in America we’ll be able to make a difference but I’m not so sure about Istanbul, mainly due to the long straight. I prefer not to make predictions but we’ll clearly have to try and compensate through the mixed sections and we’ll also need to see how the Pirelli tyres take to the track, seeing as it’s a new track for the championship. After the disappointing results in Germany I hope we can do more this weekend.”

Ayrton Badovini:
“Of course I’ve only seen the track on TV and the computer but it seems fast. I think it could work well for us. I hope we can work quickly to adapt my 1199 Panigale to the track and then continue to work in the right direction. At least there, being a ‘new’ track, none of the Superbikes have been around it before and so we're all in the same boat, with no references to speak of. It will be a new experience for almost all of us riders and I for one am looking forward to it. We’ll see what we can do...”