Ayrton Badovini has described his BMW Italia team as 'phenomenal' after very nearly snatching a podium result during the sixth round of its maiden World Superbike Championship campaign at Misano.
The reigning Superstock 1000 champion has flourished in his upgraded role as team leader following the wrist injury sustained by high-profile team-mate James Toseland, Badovini proving to be a consistent top ten performer having begun the year well outside the top fifteen.
Peaking with a charging ride to fourth place on home soil at Misano, though Badovini was disappointed to miss out on the podium when he was overtaken on the final bend by Noriyuki Haga, he was thrilled to be finishing as BMW's top rider for the fourth race in succession.
"I am satisfied, and this time, happy,” he said. “Because of timescale we were weak at the start of the season and fighting for a podium now is fantastic. It would almost have been better to finish fifth because failing to make the podium by one metre is so frustrating!
“Making this progress, so quickly at World Superbike level is hugely satisfying for me personally and for the team. Before the race 2 restart my team were phenomenal. They worked very hard on the bike and in the second part of race 2 was even better than before.
“I must confess that I did not expect to improve (me and my team) so quickly. I actually thought I could not be at this level until the last three races. "
In the last five races, Badovini has notched up a scoreline of 6th-7th-9th-8th-4th, results that have lifted him onto the fringes of the overall top ten in the standings and well ahead of factory BMW rider Troy Corser.