Feb 22, 2013
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by David Swarts
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Michel Fabrizio (84).
FIM Superbike World Championship
Phillip Island, Australia
February 22, 2012
Qualifying Session One Results (all on Pirelli tires):
1. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:31.317
2. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:31.392
3. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:31.539
4. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:31.608
5. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:31.638
6. Leon HASLAM, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:31.687
7. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:31.754
8. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:31.793
9. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 1:31.863
10. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:31.884
11. Jamie STAUFFER, Australia (Honda CBR1000RR), 1:31.984
12. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati Panigale 1199R), 1:32.063
13. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati Panigale 1199R), 1:32.243
14. Glenn ALLERTON, Australia (BMW S1000RR), 1:32.352
15. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:32.497
16. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati Panigale 1199R), 1:32.540
17. Ivan CLEMENTI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:32.757
18. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), 1:32.801
19. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:32.898
20. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), 1:33.082
21. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (Kawasaki ZX-10R), 1:33.305
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:
APRILIA IN FRONT OF 13 RIDERS ALL GROUPED WITHIN LESS THAN ONE SECOND: THIS IS HOW THE SUPERBIKE WEEKEND OPENED UP AT PHILLIP ISLAND.
A LOT OF WORK ON LONG DISTANCE FOR EUGENE LAVERTY AND SYLVAIN GUINTOLI, BOTH SATISFIED AFTER THE FIRST TWO OFFICIAL SESSIONS.
Phillip Island, 22 February 2013 â€“ There are two Aprilias out front on the first day of test sessions for the Australian Superbike weekend: Michel Fabrizio's private RSV4 and Eugene Laverty's number 58, while team mate Sylvain Guintoli ended the day in ninth place. The qualifying session had 13 riders packed into less than one second, an extremely tight ranking in terms of a single lap, but this shifts a bit where race pace is concerned.
In fact, as foreshadowed by the recent testing, tyre wear will be a crucial point for the races. Precisely for this reason Aprilia Racing focused on their long distance work, managing to find a good compromise between pure speed and consistent pace. There are still two more 45 minute sessions before the races and they will be crucial for last minute fine tuning and for choosing the best performance tyre option. The fast Phillip Island track has proved to be very selective, as is demonstrated by the numerous crashes both in Superbike and the other categories.
Eugene Laverty, second in the qualifiers, feels satisfied with his situation: â€œThis morning we weren't extremely fast, but in the afternoon we made some changes on my RSV4 to adapt it to the conditions and we took a big step forward. My single lap is good, but the key is to maintain consistency for the entire race. There are a lot of riders who don't stand out in the single lap but they've got an excellent race pace, and we're also doing well in that department. I don't have any particular problems and even when I'm lapping fast I'm careful not to wear the tyres quickly so that helps me to be consistentâ€.
It was a good day for Sylvain Guintoli as well, by now perfectly at ease both with the super fast Aprilia RSV4 and with his new team: â€œIt was definitely a positive day. I'm able to ride comfortably and that allows me to maintain a good pace over several laps. We weren't able to get in a really fast lap because we were testing a front tyre that was softer than what I needed, but the important thing is that we know we can still shave a few tenths off. Tomorrow it will be crucial to get everything sorted, put in a good Superpole and be ready for the races on Sundayâ€.
More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:
Phillip Island â€“ Free Practice & Qualifying Practice 1.
Friday, 22nd February 2013.
Weather conditions: Sunny.
Temperature: Air: 27 â€“ 29 Â°C, Track: 40 â€“ 45 Â°C
Number of riders participating: 21 from 13 teams
Fastest lap Free Practice: Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) 1:31.218 min
Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) 1:31.317 min
The 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship kicked off and the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team have started the new season with great positions on the provisional first and second rows of the grid. Factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finished todayâ€™s first qualifying practice at the curtain raiser in Phillip Island (AUS) in third. His new team-mate Chaz Davies (GBR) was fifth in his first ever qualifying session on his BMW S 1000 RR. Marco began the first qualifying session with the fastest times and was leading for a long duration. In the end, he had a gap of just 0.222 seconds to Michel Fabrizio (ITA), who qualified for the provisional pole position. Chaz classified in the middle of the field and catapulted himself up to fifth in the final minute of the session staying under the 1:32-mark for the first time.
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:32.057 min (P6)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:31.539 min (P3)
â€œIâ€™m happy with both of the sessions today. We have made good progress for the race. Our goal was to find a solution to preserve tyres and we have suceeded. The track and the bike have improved a lot and my shoulder is feeling much better. For the first time I was able to ride more than two laps without the pain increasing too much, so now Iâ€™m confident for the race. Tomorrow weâ€™ll continue our work. Iâ€™m feeling positive and looking forward to the race.â€
Fastest lap Free Practice: 1:32.046 min (P5)/Fastest lap Qualifying Practice 1: 1:31.638 min (P5)
â€œI am very happy. Since the last day of testing the guys have worked very hard and we came out with a good setting for today. Since we have been here, the RR has been improving all the time and everything is coming together now. I am starting to really feel like the bike is mine and I am starting to understand what effect the different changes have to this bike. In the beginning of the qualifying, we also did some work on a used tyre from the morningâ€™s practice and I was really surprised how well the bike was working and how competitive the lap times were. For tomorrow, weâ€™ll try to get a little bit more bump compliance in turning and we will work on fine tuning the electronics. I feel good about tomorrow when the most important thing is the Superpole - especially now as the grid is three to a row and not four.â€
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
â€œThe session this morning was not as positive as we would have hoped. Unfortunately Marco had a technical issue in free practice, which only allowed him to do seven laps. Between free practice and qualifyng practice the team worked very hard so that Marco could have a complete qualifying session in the afternoon. Marco was consistent over both sessions and this makes us really confident for the race. Chaz also did a very good job, heâ€™s improving his feeling with the bike and heâ€™s happy with todayâ€™s results. Iâ€™m very satisfied with the team; they have all done a very good job. Weâ€™re going to work to solve the issues we have experienced ready for the race on Sunday.â€
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
â€œThe qualifying practice went quite well for us. We have improved the consistency of our performance; we have tried the new tyres from Pirelli but also made some important changes to the settings of the bikes. Both riders benefitted from these changes and from the tyres. There are few areas where we are losing a bit of time but overall we are happy with the job we have done. Chaz improved his speed over one fast lap clocking his first 1:31-lap since we arrived here, while Marco did consistently fast lap times over a long period. Tomorrow we have still one more tyre to be tested before Superpole and we will work again on the tyre life and on the overall fine tuning.â€
More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda:
Pata Honda kicks off 2013 World Superbike season
The Pata Honda World Superbike Team helped get the 2013 championship officially underway in todayâ€™s opening practice sessions at Phillip Island in Australia. New team member Leon Haslam ended the day sixth fastest behind provisional pole sitter, Michel Fabrizio, while Jonathan Rea was just two tenths of a second slower in tenth.
After an overcast morning, todayâ€™s first qualifying session took place in warm and dry conditions at the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit, following four days of testing which started last week.
Following a winter re-surface, the track is showing no signs of being any less abrasive on tyres and both Pata Honda riders have been working on seeking a compromise of grip and longevity to get through Sundayâ€™s two 22-lap, first-round races.
Leon Haslam â€“ P6, 1m31.687s
It felt really good today and we were just concentrating hard on our race set-up. We got a tyre that we did race distance on and the lap times were as good as anybodyâ€™s so Iâ€™m happy with that. A couple of tyres are definitely not the option â€“ theyâ€™re just blistering and I think a couple of people are suffering with that. I think I was only one of a few riders that didnâ€™t use the soft tyre this afternoon so I was quite happy with the lap time, which felt quite easy and comfortable, and Iâ€™m happy with the progression weâ€™re making. Weâ€™ll spend tomorrow working on tyre life and fine-tuning the electronics, which seem to change day-by-day with the weather and the wind. Itâ€™s getting stronger each day so I hope it doesnâ€™t change direction tomorrow â€“ otherwise weâ€™ll have to start all over again!
Jonathan Rea â€“ P10, 1m31.884s
I was excited and nervous this morning, starting a new season, but it was quite tough witnessing the Supersport session this morning, which was full of mayhem and five red flags. I was a little unsure about the track conditions to start but we worked slowly and surely through some electronics changes but, unfortunately, my comments were a little strange because we were struggling to make progress with my feeling on the bike. In the second session this afternoon we did a long run and I picked up a much better rhythm at the end and I felt a lot better on the bike. We still need to do more work with old tyres but weâ€™re not so far away on used tyre pace. I feel we still need to do some work to get an out-and-out lap time. Weâ€™ve had a long de-brief and I think itâ€™s clear that we can still improve the engine braking and the initial touch of the throttle.
Pieter Breddels â€“ technical co-ordinator
I think weâ€™ve had quite a reasonable day. Every time Leon went out he was just fast and he didnâ€™t really bother to put in a tyre to achieve a lap time, so thatâ€™s looking good. With Jonathan weâ€™re still fine-tuning settings and we did a long run this afternoon. It was good to give him a bit more of a rhythm but I think we have to do more with the settings and compare to the test here, when we were a bit quicker. The biggest issue here is tyre life and finding a tyre that will do the distance.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier got the team's 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship campaign off to a fine start today as he recorded the fourth quickest time during the first qualifying session.
Camier has shown strongly all week at the Australian circuit throughout the pre-season tests and continued with this vein of form during this morning's first free practice session, where he finished third, and then by taking fourth - and a provisional second row start for Sunday's races - this afternoon. Camier's Yoshimura-powered GSX-R performed equally well and looked very much at home on the newly resurfaced and very fast 4,445m Phillip Island track, as he recorded a best time of 1'31.608 from his 16-laps in QP1. The Englishman will now look to consolidate his position in tomorrow's second qualifying session to guarantee his place in the afternoon Superpole, to give him every chance of securing a good grid position for Sunday's two races.
Jules Cluzel made a steady and solid start to his first weekend of competitive action in the Superbike class. He completed 33 laps of the Australian circuit during the two sessions and produced a fastest time 1'32.801 to give him 18th place on the timesheets. Cluzel is gradually re-growing in confidence following the three big crashes he had in the tests and is confident he can make Superpole after tomorrow's final qualifying.
Today's warm and sunny conditions produced air and track temperatures of 26Â°C and 40Â°C respectively, but the strong gusting winds made conditions difficult for all riders. Michel Fabrizio on an Aprilia clocked the fastest time of the day.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will have a second qualifying session tomorrow morning where Camier and Cluzel will endeavour to confirm their places in the top-15 to make sure they are in the afternoon's Superpole.
"I never felt quite as comfortable out there today as I did in the tests, the conditions had changed quite a bit - the wind was in a different direction and it was a bit hotter. I struggled to get in one quick lap, but the quickest one that I did achieve I managed to do three or four of them in a row. If I could have put together a perfect lap I'm sure I could have been right up there and a good step quicker. All-in-all it's not too bad, but with the change of conditions again it has altered the way the bike works and feels, so we've got to be really understanding of that come race-day. Also for one lap we need to understand exactly what we need to do for the conditions and how to manage it to get a good lap and grid position for Sunday."
"I'm not so happy, because I am lower than where I wanted to be after first qualifying and we also lost a bit of time at the end due to a technical issue. We now have only tomorrow morning to try to improve things and get in the top-15 for Superpole. It would be a good experience for me to be in Superpole, because I have never tried a qualifying tyre, so I am looking to do this. We lost something during the crash the other day, because my best lap time today was not as fast as the one I did on my second exit during the first day of the test, but we have time tomorrow to improve and make sure we're ready for the first races of the year."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"It's nice to get the 2013 World Superbike season started and today was very solid on Leon's side and a little bit frustrating for Jules. One of Leon's strong points as a rider is his ability to maintain lap-time when the tyres have suffered a lot of wear and he did that this morning by setting his fastest lap with over 20-laps on the rear tyre. This afternoon - even though he didn't quite churn out the ultimate lap-time that he would liked to have done - the rhythm was still very positive and he's looking good for race distance.
"For Jules, today was a case of 'start again' and regain his confidence. This morning's session was very smooth and solid and he was building nicely this afternoon until he had a very unfortunate technical problem, which we are sure we will have a solution to and it won't affect the bikes for the rest of the weekend. There is a lot to learn for Jules and the nature of this track is making it even more difficult, but we absolutely believe that his raw speed and talent will see him through to a much better result tomorrow and on race-day."
More, from a press release issued by World Superbike Press Office:
Michel Fabrizio sets the pace in Phillip Island Q1
Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 22 February 2013 â€“ A close battled Qualifying 1 put an end to the first World Superbike day of 2013. The session was held under the clear skies of Phillip Island, with perfect temperatures and average winds blowing inland. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia), after being the fastest rider of Free Practice 1, topped once again the timesheets thanks to a 1â€™31.317 lap-time, ahead of works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty.
Michel Fabrizio: â€œWe are working very well. Iâ€™m not fully satisfied yet because we still need to find the perfect set up for the race distance. Hopefully weâ€™ll get it sorted tomorrow, and weâ€™ll be ready for Sunday. Conditions were a bit more difficult during the afternoon compared to the morning, due primarily to the wind that made changing direction harder. Last Monday I was hit by a seagull on my arm while I was on the straight and I am still feeling the pain. I can say though, that weâ€™re on the right direction. Weâ€™re planning on doing some small adjustments for tomorrow and these will hopefully make us improve further.â€
Eugene Laverty: â€œThis morning we weren't extremely fast, but in the afternoon we made some changes on my RSV4 to adapt it to the conditions and we took a big step forward. My single lap is good, but the key is to maintain consistency for the entire race. There are a lot of riders who don't stand out in the single lap but they've got an excellent race pace, and we're also doing well in that department. I don't have any particular problems and even when I'm lapping fast I'm careful not to wear the tyres quickly so that helps me to be consistentâ€.
The session was characterized by very competitive and balanced performances on track, considering the top-13 riders within a second and the five brands in the first seven positions. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) showed good form by finishing third, followed by Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), his team mate Chaz Davies, Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and 2012 runner-up Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team).
Carlos Checa (Ducati Team Alstare) was on track this afternoon despite the spectacular crash he had in Free Practice 1 at Turn 5. The Spaniard ended the session in 12th position - after completing only 7 laps â€“ ahead of Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing Ducati).
Times: 1. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1'31.317 average 175.236 kph; 2. Laverty (Aprilia) 1'31.392; 3. Melandri (BMW) 1'31.539; 4. Camier (Suzuki) 1'31.608; 5. Davies (BMW) 1'31.638; 6. Haslam (Honda) 1'31.687; 7. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1'31.754; 8. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1'31.793; 9. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1'31.863; 10. Rea (Honda) 1'31.884; 11. Stauffer (Honda) 1'31.984; 12. Checa (Ducati) 1'32.063; 13. Neukirchner (Ducati) 1'32.243; 14. Allerton (BMW) 1'32.352; 15. Baz (Kawasaki) 1'32.497; 16. Badovini (Ducati) 1'32.540; 17. Clementi (BMW) 1'32.757; 18. Cluzel (Suzuki) 1'32.801; 19. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'32.898; 20. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'33.082; 21. Lundh (Kawasaki) 1'33.305.
More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:
Good day for the Althea Racing team at Phillip Island
Today the 2013 World Superbike Championship started on the Philip Island track in Australia. A historic day for the Althea Racing team which deals with an Aprilia RSV4 for the first time. The first practice session was held on a dry track and a sunny skies. Davide Giugliano and his technicians have worked in occasion to Sundayâ€™s races, with an emphasis on tire choice. At the end of the session, Giugliano occupied the tenth place with a time of 1'32 "315. In the afternoon session the wind and the heat factors made it more difficult for the technicians and Davide to work but they still managed to improve and achieve eighth place with a time of 1'31"793. Beyond the ranking of the team Genesio Bevilacqua is satisfied with the work and is ready for tomorrowâ€™s dispute of the second round of qualifying and the first Superpole of the season.
Genesio Bevilacqua : â€œIt has been a good day. Davide and the team have worked hard, without looking for the lap time, but focusing on finding an arrangement that allows us to use the tires for many laps. In the afternoon, despite the conditions were more difficult, due to the heat and the wind, Giugliano has improved, although he was not able to do a faster lap that would allow him in a better ranking. Tomorrow we will continue in the same direction of today and we are confident we can do well.â€
Davide Giugliano : â€œOverall I can say I am satisfied. The only conflicting note is the ranking position, which is certainly not what I wanted to achieve. I could not ride particularly fast, but it does not bother me because the important thing is to work on the race. We are looking for a faster rate and an arrangement that allows us to go strong for many laps. Forcing my pace today we found some small problems we did not know and which helped us to improve the bike. I am sure that tomorrow things will go better and I will improve even my ranking.â€
More, from a press release issued by Team Honda Racing:
Strong Qualifying Practice at the World Superbike Event
22 February 2013 - A strong day of qualifying practice for Team Honda Racing at the World Superbike event at Phillip Island today. The #21 Honda CBR1000RR of Jamie Stauffer recorded the 11th fastest time in Qualifying Practice 1 only .667 sec behind the outright fastest lap time of the session.
With Staufferâ€™s lap times improving after the team made some changes to the bike settings, a bold tyre change with just minutes to go in the Qualifying Practice session paid off and Stauffer was able to finish the session with his fastest lap time of the event so far.
Stauffer: â€œWe had a good day overall; we tried a few suspension settings and a few different tyres to see what worked best on the new track surface and towards the end of Qualifying we put in new front and rear tyres and were able to do a couple of fast lap times. Everything is looking good going into tomorrow. Our lap times are improving and the team are refining the bike settings so I think we will go well in tomorrowâ€™s Qualifying and Superpole.â€
In World Supersport Free Practice earlier today, after coming off the CBR600RR in spectacular fashion at turn 9, #16 Josh Hook was incredibly back on a motorcycle for the afternoon Qualifying session and finished in P18. Hook is eager to get back on the bike tomorrow.
Hook: â€œToday didnâ€™t quite go to plan with a crash in free practice and it slowed our progress a little, but the team was brilliant. Within hours they had built me a brand new bike by switching engines into a new chassis and I was ready to go for Qualifying. A huge thanks to the team for their effort in making sure I am 100% ready for tomorrowâ€™s practice and qualifying.â€
Qualifying tomorrow will begin with World Superbikes at 9:45am.
More, from a press release issued by Red Devils Team:
Michel Fabrizio dominates SBK practices and qualifying at SBK Phillip Island
After the first position gained in the free practices this morning, Michel Fabrizio was also the fastest in the first round of qualifying session this afternoon on Phillip Island track. Although the weather conditions were more difficult due to the wind and heat factors, Michel was able to finish in first place with a time of 1'31"317. In addition to the two great results of today, Andrea Petricca is satisfied with the work carried out by the team to find the best arrangement for the RSV4 and tires to use in the race. Fabrizio manages to constantly reach very fast times and this is very important for tomorrows qualifying and for the Superpole which will determine in the afternoon the starting grid for the first two races of the season.
Andrea Petricca : â€œWe are very happy with the results that we are getting here in Australia. Finishing in the top ranking in free practice and qualifying is an outstanding achievement for a team like ours, that was born at the end of last championship when, together with GM Adriano Alessandrini and our technical manager, we chose the people with whom to carry out our ambitious project. If ever it were needed, Michel is proving to be one of the best riders in the Superbike and can aim for great goal. Moreover, the decision to switch to Aprilia is proving to be a great success. We must continue in this direction, always giving the best.â€
Michel Fabrizio : â€œWe are working very well. Yet I am not fully satisfied because in long distances the tires do not ensure the right grip we are looking for. We are still missing five more laps and if tomorrow we can find the right setting then we will be ready for the races. In the afternoon the weather conditions were more difficult than in the morning, because I can feel the changes in wind direction. Also on Monday during the practices a seagull hit my arm itâ€™s still very painful. I can say, however, that I am satisfied and tomorrow we planned to make some small changes that should allow us to improve further. I would like to thank the team which has done a great job.â€
More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Alstare Ducati:
An unlucky first day for Team SBK Ducati Alstare at Phillip Island
Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 22 February 2013: Team SBK Ducati Alstare faced various challenges in todayâ€™s opening sessions of the 2013 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island. Although conditions at the Australian track were almost perfect during todayâ€™s free practice and first qualifying sessions, with sunshine and very little wind, both Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini suffered crashes during the practice which made afternoon qualifying all the more difficult for the pair.
In the first free practice session of the 2013 season, Checa made a solid start on board his 1199 Panigale but a highside fifteen minutes from the end of the session, in which he took a blow to the head and the foot, meant he lost valuable track time. His best lap, a 1â€™32.1 recorded early on in the session, put him in final ninth position.
On the other side of the garage Badovini, still suffering some pain after last weekâ€™s crash, was able to complete eight laps before he too was the victim of a small crash just minutes before Carlos. Coming just a few days after his previous crash, the incident definitely didnâ€™t facilitate matters; Ayrton closed the practice with a best time of 1â€™33.0, registered earlier on.
Qualifying was therefore not an easy business for either rider. The session started well for Carlos who, ten minutes in, scored a 1â€™32.0 which positioned him temporarily third. Unfortunately he then started to feel dizzy and so took the decision,together with the team, to sit out the second half of the session, meaning that he closed twelfth thanks to the time set in the early stages. Ayrton too was forced to take things easy and save energy for tomorrow and Sunday; he recorded a best of 1â€™32.5 this afternoon which put him in final sixteenth position.
Carlos Checa: â€˜I was looking forward to today and improving the bike after the official tests, but things didnâ€™t turn out how I wanted. This morning, after only seven laps, I crashed exiting Siberia. It was one of the biggest highsides of my career and I think I went up a long way before hitting the track. I was lucky not to break anything but I hurt my left shoulder and my right foot, which is a bit of a problem because I use the rear brake quite a bit. The crash ended the session for me, but fortunately I was able to get out in the afternoon, put in some laps and get a time. Once again, I completed seven laps and ended 12th fastest overall.
It was a shame because, up until the crash, we had been heading in the right direction with the bike once more. Weâ€™d changed the set-up just before the crash, but weâ€™ll have to look at the telemetry before we draw any conclusions. In the afternoon we went back to the original set-up - the one weâ€™d used in testing - to make sure of a decent lap time. Iâ€™m sorry for all the work Iâ€™ve caused the mechanics, but hopefully I will feel better tomorrow morning and we can get back to improving the bike.â€™
Ayrton Badovini: â€˜The last thing I wanted today was another crash, but thatâ€™s what happened! I banged my right foot and later, when I took my leathers off, the ankle was pretty swollen. Before the crash, which happened at the last corner (so it was pretty fast!), I could manage the left turns OK, but the right-handers were causing me some problems. I was finding it difficult to push hard in the right turns. So, if we can improve the set-up of the bike for right-handers, it will make my job a bit easier. At the moment I feel a bit destroyed, but Iâ€™m sure I will feel better after a good nightâ€™s sleep and some massages.â€™
Francis Batta, Team SBK Ducati Alstareâ€™s owner: â€˜I feel sorry for the mechanics, who have had to work hard to repair the damage. After his performance in the unofficial tests, we were looking forward to seeing what Carlos could do with the bike today. Unfortunately, he crashed after seven laps and that meant he couldnâ€™t push hard in the afternoon session. We knew that Ayrtonâ€™s condition would prevent him from riding as hard as he would normally. His condition really needs at least ten days to heal properly. At the moment he is struggling after about six laps, but he is determined to do the best he can. Not a great day, but we have to be thankful that no bones have been broken and hope for better luck on Saturday and Sunday.â€™