MV Agusta's much anticipated return to the international racing scene at Phillip Island ended in bitter disappointment as Roberto Rolfo was denied a potential top five finish by a technical issue two laps from home.
The iconic Italian marque returns to the World Supersport Championship this season in a factory capacity under the guardianship of former champions ParkinGO, a collaboration that has immediately proven fast with Rolfo and Christian Iddon aboard the three-cylinder F3.
Indeed, in the hands of ex-MotoGP/WSBK rider Rolfo, the F3
would run as high as fourth position in its first race as the Italian became embroiled in an entertaining scrap with the Kawasakis of Fabien Foret, David Salom and Luca Scassa.
With the end of the race approaching, Rolfo was still in contention for an excellent top five finish when the F3
began to slow with little more than a lap to go, much to his disappointment.
“I am clearly not happy with the results but quite satisfied how this race went. The team did a fantastic job. The bike was very good, I initially with heat I struggled a bit it improved a lot [for the race]. I had an amazing time battling with the other riders for a top five position. We will continue the hard work for Aragon.
Rookie Iddon, meanwhile, impressed with his competitiveness over the course of his first WSS weekend but would also suffer with problems late on having run well inside the top ten for much of the race.
“Good race, good job from the team...what else can I say? Obviously I am not very happy that I didn't bring some points home but we had a problem we couldn't solve. Up until then I have to say that I was having fun fighting. I can wait to get to the next race!”
Despite the unsatisfactory conclusion to the weekend on paper, Giuliano Rovelli was nonetheless delighted to see the all-new bike battling towards the front of the field on its first outing.
“Apart from the problem we had at the end that leaves us with a sour taste, I am very happy to see we have been riding at the top until the end. All the team, bike and riders are already at high level, I would say more than we expected to be at the beginning of the World Championship. We are motivated and confident to take this amazing project.”