Ayrton Badovini was the best of the BMW runners this weekend but came agonizingly close to his first World Superbike podium in race two. The Italian, racing for the BMW Motorrad Italia squad, overtook Noriyuki Haga midway through the last lap but lost out on the run to the finish line.
Fourth place was still the best result of the 2011 season for Badovini, and the 25-year-old is sure the podium will come if the team can continue their improvement into the second half of the season.
“I am happy for sure. I wanted to be on the podium so badly and came so close it was a real shame I didn't quite make it. Still, on the whole I am very pleased because with every race we get stronger and move closer to the front. We can run consistently in the top 10 in any conditions. I feel so good on the bike, the team is doing an amazing job and I think we can continue like this in the future. If I can get a strong start in the next races I think we can really push into the top five and maybe even a podium. This championship is very difficult but we are getting faster and that's a really nice feeling.”
Leon Haslam had a frustrating day which started with a crash in race one while chasing a podium finish. In race two, the Briton's decision to start on the hard tyre backfired when the race was red flagged, meaning he couldn't use the advantage of them later in the race.
Haslam voiced his disappointment after the races, and accepted the blame for his accident in the opening race of the day.
“I was quite disappointed that the race was red flagged and ultimately restarted. We went out on the harder tyre so we could go the full distance and it felt stable and I was feeling comfortable. Sadly the race was stopped and the number of laps reduced so we went for the softer tyre so get more grip and it really affected the characteristics of the bike. We couldn't seem to improve despite the increase in grip. I was having a lot of issues with the front tyre and came so close to crashing on a number of occasions. With the issues we were having I was happy to see out the race to the end. The crash in race one was my fault, I was pushing too hard trying to ride around a few issues and I had a huge high-side. I have broken a toe on my right foot and hurt my hand but nothing too serious.”
Troy Corser suffered two crashes before the first race even started and those incidents from earlier in the weekend hampered him on race day. The Australian called it a day five laps into race one and then chose to sit out race two.
“I tried to start and did some laps. But due to the bruising in my hip I can't move properly on the bike” he explained. “Yesterday it was not so bad, but a bruising really comes through on the second day. It would not have made sense to continue. I did not want to cause an accident or have another crash without any need. But I am pretty confident for the next race weekend in AragÃ³n. The swelling on my hip is already gone, and I think that I should be okay after nearly a week of resting and recovering.”
Bernhard Gobmeier, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director, was happy to see the back of a weekend that saw both of his riders pick up injuries.
“On the whole it was a very difficult weekend. In the practices and the Superpole we were doing quite well. In the first race, Troy was struggling to go the pace due to his injuries, so we called him back. Leon had a very unfortunate high-side, falling exactly on the injuries he suffered in Monza. Obviously he was affected by this, but in the second race he really gave his best. Leon was certainly affected by his bruises and broken bones but also we could not get the performance advantage out of the grippier tyres as we wished. So the fifth place is positive for us – as is the result of Ayrton Badovini who missed the podium by a whisker. . This weekend all BMW riders showed great levels of commitment and a determination that you can only wish for. Now we travel to AragÃ³n and hope for a better weekend.”