BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Donington Park, Great Britain, 27/05/2015, FIM Superbike World Championship
Ayrton Badovini is still on the way up in the FIM World Superbike Championship (WSBK): In Donington Park in Great Britain, he rode his BMW S 1000 RR for the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK team into the top five once again. Overall he was able to keep on reducing the gap to the top.
The Donington Park Circuit in the heart of England, located about 25 kilometres southwest of Nottingham, is a real challenge for riders and engineers. The track offers a mix of fast, fluid sectors and technically demanding sections with narrow hairpin bends. A challenge that the Italian on his BMW S 1000 RR managed successfully. In the free practice sessions on Friday, Badovini confirmed that the work of the team and the experts at BMW Motorrad Motorsport was continuing to bear fruit and that he is getting ever closer to the leaders on his RR. He finished the sessions in sixth, fourth and seventh places, and was one of fastest riders overall on the middle section of the track.
In the fourth free practice session on Saturday morning, Badovini continued to work on the fine-tuning of his RR, but his efforts came to an early end. In the ultra-fast Craner Curves, he fell at high speed and his RR flipped over many times. He was on an uneven surface when he changed direction and the front wheel slipped away. "Fortunately Donington is a safe track," emphasised Badovini afterwards. "According to the data, I fell at 205 km/h, but I only have slight pain in my upper arm." However, his motorcycle was so badly damaged that the team had to prepare the spare bike for the following Superpole 2 at lightning speed. Despite the short timeframe, the second motorcycle was ready to ride in time for the crucial qualifying session. However, Badovini had problems with the special qualifying tyres in the battle for the best starting positions. They didn't provide as much grip as he had hoped, meaning he was unable to make use of the advantage that these particularly soft tyres have on a fast lap. The result was he started 11th on the fourth row. Nevertheless, Badovini and the team were optimistic going into Sunday's racing action, since they knew that their race set-up stood them in good stead.
The first race confirmed that. The Italian initially started in the middle of the field, before going on the chase in the second half of the race. Finishing in fifth, he got his second top five result of the season after Imola. But much more important: Compared with his home race two weeks ago, Badovini has reduced his gap to the top even further. Trailing the winner by 20 seconds saw him finish the closest to the winner that he has all season. And the podium is getting closer: In Donington, Badovini was only five seconds off the top three.
Initially, this trend continued in the second race. As in the first race, on the way through the field, Badovini had a duel with reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli, among others. But on the sixth lap he almost suffered a highsider on the treacherous track. The Italian caught his RR in time, but fell back three places into tenth. He finished the race in ninth, but after the weekend is overall confident that he is still heading in the right direction.
"The most important thing is that we are getting more familiar with our bike all the time and I keep on getting faster. We already took a big step forward in Imola and my thanks go to the team for its great work," summed up Badovini. And team director Gerardo "Dino" Acocella added: "The bike worked well and Ayrton is very happy. We are a small team and need to take one step at a time. We will bring something new to Portimão and we will try to improve further in the coming races." This means getting even closer to the top.
BMW Racing Team Tóth, after the strong race weekend in Imola, on which both Imre Tóth and Gabor Rizmayer picked up championship points, was confident when it arrived in Donington. But the days in the heart of England didn't quite go according to plan for the Hungarian duo. The two riders improved over the weekend, but, despite their hard work, it wasn't enough for points this time. Rizmayer finished in 18th and 16th, Tóth in 19th and 17th. Now the team is focussed on the next race weekend in Portimão in Portugal. Where the determined fighters from Hungary want to build on what they achieved in Imola.