Leon Haslam admitted that the BMW Motorrad team made a mistake by opting not to go out for a second run in Superpole 1 at Aragon, after he fell at the first hurdle.
The Briton was only 13th in the qualifying practice sessions but got up to fourth in SP1, dispelling fears that the BMW S1000RR machines were lacking pace, but chose to stay in the garage in the closing minutes as other riders went out on qualifying tyres.
This left Haslam exposed and he slipped to 14th, meaning he will start on the fourth row for tomorrow's races, but he is confident that the bike's race pace will move him forward tomorrow.
“We posted a good time in SP1 on race tyres and decided to stay in the garage. The team and I thought we were safe and planned to save the qualifying tyres for the remaining two sessions. Sadly the gamble didn't pay off. A lot of the other guys put a qualifying tyre in for their second run in SP1 and that pushed us down from 4th to being outside the top 12. It's a shame for sure because I felt like we had good pace, but the qualifying tyre seemed to be giving the other riders an extra second so I think we could have done the same. Still, we believe we have a good race pace for tomorrow so we will try to get a good start and see what we can do in the races.”
Troy Corser will join his teammate on the fourth row after he also dropped out in SP1. The Australian will start 16th and admitted that he was struggling with the set-up on his S1000 RR.
“Today the bike just was not doing what we wanted it to do. We were struggling with the race tyre, so we put the qualifier in. But with that we struggled even more. It was a difficult day. We will work hard to sort out these issues for tomorrow. In the races anything is still possible. We just need a good start and to find a better set-up with the bike.”
Rainer BÃ¤umel, Head of Race Operations for the BMW Motorrad squad, admitted the team were a little overconfident with Haslam's strategy but expects the team to be competitive tomorrow.
“On Leon's side we just had bad luck. We were doing pretty well with the race tyres. At the end of Superpole 1 we thought his time would be good enough to make it to the next session. So we did not do another lap. But unfortunately it was not good enough. On Troy's side we were struggling with the chassis, we did not have any grip. We are working hard to solve these issues for tomorrow. Let's wait and see what is possible in the races. The fact that we were quite competitive with Leon on race tyres gives us reason to be confident.”
Instead it was left to Ayrton Badovini to fly the flag for BMW in Superpole 3, continuing the form that took him to a career best fourth at Misano. The reigning World Superstock 1000 champion will start tomorrow's races from eighth and is looking forward to another strong performance tomorrow.
“I am very happy after today. I was especially happy with my time in Superpole 2. It was the first time this year that I really got the qualifying tyre to work for me and we were able to post an amazing time. In Superpole 3 we went out on race tyres as I had used both qualifying tyres so we were not able to push for the front row. Still I am very happy, the bike is working really well, our race pace looks good and I cannot wait for the races tomorrow. I think we have a great chance for two solid races. We shall see.”
Lorenzo Lanzi is partnering Badovini once again in the BMW Motorrad Italia team this weekend and will start tomorrow's races from the back of the grid in 20th place.