Roberto Rolfo stepped up his game in the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship after qualifying fifth place on the grid and mixing it with the front runners during the races.

Claiming he now has a bike beneath him that encourages confidence, Rolfo gave prospective employees a hint of what he can do aboard the little fancied Althea Honda by landing a second row grid slot.

However, while he started well in the first race, contact around the opening lap sent him plummeting to the back of the field. Nonetheless, the relatively high attrition rate helped him back into the points towards the closing stages, only for a technical problem to intervene and leave him propping up the retirements' list himself.

"I'm very angry and disappointed, not only because I had to stop my race for a technical problem but also because during the first lap someone hit my rear tyre and I was forced to exit on the gravel and I lost quite a few places.

"To get back into the race from so far back was not easy, but the bike was working well and I reached the thirteenth place in few laps. Unfortunately, we had some technical problems during the seventeenth lap which prevented me from getting a good position and some points for my championship standing."

The second race proved to be more rewarding for Rolfo, even if a strong start eventually gave way to him dropping steadily behind the usual front runners. Admitting to making a few small errors as he pushed to maintain the pace, he was nonetheless satisfied with tenth place by the chequered flag.

"I'm pretty happy because after a good start I was able to remain with the first group of riders. I gave it everything I had in the second race, but in mid race I was losing grip with the rear and I just could not run the pace of the guys at the front.

"I had a bit of a battle with Fabrizio and Biaggi but riding over the limit meant I made a couple of small mistakes and they passed me. In the end it was impossible for me to do more than I did in the second race."

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