Ayrton Badovini believes there is still more to come from himself and BMW Italia as he heads into the second-half of the 2011 World Superbike Championship having established himself as one of the season's revelation.
The Italian, who started 32 WSBK races for Pedercini Kawasaki and PSG-1 Kawasaki between 2008 and 2009, returned to the premier Superbike class this season as a reward for dominating the 2010 Superstock 1000 championship.
Making a fairly low-key start to the season with the rookie team, Badovini's results have improved markedly as the year has progressed, peaking with a fourth place at Misano, while he has now finished inside the top ten in each of the last nine races.
To put into context, Badovini – who is now classified eighth overall - has scored more points than all but the top four riders in the standings over the last five rounds, taking 85 points from the ten races, more than Michel Fabrizio (81), Leon Camier (82), and perhaps most significantly, factory BMW rider Leon Haslam (66).
Indeed, Badovini has frequently out-scored the factory BMW riders in recent races, including last time out at Brno where he secured a pair of sixth place finishes.
"I am extremely satisfied with two sixths at Brno. It's the first race where we haven't squandered anything and have obtained results that have been within our reach. It was more than positive, not yet at the level we are aiming for but everything went really well.
“I'm also pleased with eighth place in the table, it shows that we are improving, we knew we were not in a position to win the championship and not even finish in the top 3, but for the moment we are right behind the leaders even though the end of the year is the right moment to look at the standings."
Despite BMW Italia's satellite status, Badovini is convinced they are capable of achieving even more before the season finishes.
“We didn't really have any schedule of expectations to respect. Our aim was to make progress before the Monza round, we wanted to do it so as not to remain out of the limelight. That was the idea, and luckily we managed to do so.
“When you find yourselves right behind the leading group however, it doesn't take much to gain or lose a couple of positions. We expected to be quick, and now I'm confident we can make further progress before the end of the season."