Mark Aitchison has proved once more that he is deserving of a place on the World Superbike Championship grid by lowering his personal best with a run to ninth position at Imola.
The Australian has been something of a minor revelation on the Pedercini Kawasaki this year, the former World Supersport rider shrugging off his unfancied machinery and a lack of Superbike experience to frequently get well-amongst the mid-field.
Though minor errors at Silverstone and the Nurburgring have prevented him from achieving better up to this point, Aitchison was able to put it altogether Imola, scoring an 11th in race one and a best-ever ninth in race two.
Furthermore, that run to ninth position marks Team Pedericni's best WSBK result since Ayrton Badovini achieved the same finish at Monza back in 2008.
"Our two races in Imola have been very satisfying for me. My team and I worked so hard over the weekend to improve the bike set-up and I must say that my guys did a great job. On Friday we were struggling a little to stay consistent, but during the first race I managed to find a very good rhythm and push forward, finishing in eleventh place. I had a good battle with some of the other riders which I really enjoyed.
“In race two, I didn't have much luck in finding my rhythm, as I was hit twice by some other riders in the slow chicane early in the race. I was forced wide on both occasions, which meant I had to regain my momentum, and that wasn't easy as, just after these collisions, my steering damper broke.
“After this I had to fight with the bike so much just to keep it under control for the entire race. In any case I was very happy to come home in 9th. A very big thank you to my team and everyone who has helped me this weekend."