Ayrton Badovini says there is 'no reason' why he cannot challenge for the inaugural World Superbike EVO title in 2014 after agreeing to head up Bimota's ambitious factory-assisted return to the series.
The Italian marque yesterday announced it will return to the World Superbike Championship in 2014
, entering a pair of EVO-specification BMW-engined BB3 Superbikes for Badovini and British rider Christian Iddon
The project has been made feasible by a partnership with the experienced Alstare operation, which will helm Bimota's WSBK challenge, as well as collaborate with the Belgian-based outfit in development of its road bikes and marketing.
Badovini's acquisition comes after a season spent riding a Ducati 1199 Panigale as part of its Alstare's shortlived deal with the Italian firm. Highly rated by team manager Francis Batta, though Badovini admits the learning curve with such a new bike will be steep, he firmly believes he can still challenge for outright EVO honours in 2014.
“The early part of this year is going to be a bit difficult because of our late start, but having said that, I've
got such a good team backing me, I know we can do a nice job,” said Badovini, who will join countrymen Michel Fabrizio and Niccolo Canepa in targeting the EVO title.
“Although the BB3 is a new bike, I know the engine characteristics very well, from my two years with it in
2011 and 2012. It is a nice engine – fast, but very usable at all speeds. I don't think we're going to need to
do a lot of work on the engine, which leaves us to concentrate of the rest of the package.
“For me, this year is a lot about improving the bike and being ready for next year and in this respect I'm sure
that we'll do a good job. I'm really, really happy to be back with Alstare again and feel I am returning to
a family I know well. The team is very professional. I learnt a lot from them last year and expect to learn
more from them this year.
“If things go well, and I see no reason they should not, my target is to develop the bike quickly and win the
EVO title this year.”
Hampered by an uncompetitive bike and persistent injuries, Badovini endured a fraught 2013 season on the Alstare Ducati, but did produce headline grabbing performances with a run to third in the wet at the Moscow Raceway and claim a maiden WSBK pole position in similar conditions at the Nurburgring.