BMW Italia has broken its World Superbike Championship podium duck in style after both Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini made the most of the tricky conditions in race one to finish second and third.
Coming in the month that it was announced BMW would switch its factory operation to the Italian-based team from 2013, the result occurred after both Fabrizio and Badovini made big gains in the tricky conditions towards the end of lap one.
Spurred on by Badovini's fastest lap of the race, both riders took chances to hit the front in the final three laps as the field of slick-shod bikes struggled on an increasingly slippery surface.
Indeed, Fabrizio even entered the final lap in the lead, but he would lose out to Loris Baz on the run down the Hangar Straight for the final time. Though it demoted him to second place, it still marks his best WSBK finish since winning at Kyalami on the factory Ducati in 2010.
"The race was a very good one, and it's a big reward after some tough times,” Fabrizio, who rises to ninth in the standings, said. “A huge thanks goes to the team that has always been working so well. I achieved this second place, which I think is well deserved, as I really wanted it and in the end I fought up to the chequered flag to get it.”
Badovini, meanwhile, consolidated BMW Italia's joy by edging out Jonathan Rea for third place on the final corner, though it almost came at the expense of his bike as the momentum he carried into the bend saw him run wide onto the slippery kerb.
Sending him into a spectacular high-side as he crossed the finish line, Badovini was nonetheless still classified in third position to record his first World Superbike podium in 76 starts.
"Obviously I'm so happy about this maiden Superbike podium, especially considering the spectacular last corner! I'm also happy for the team because, despite being very quick in several rounds, we have left empty handed.”