Bimota has officially kick-started its preparations for the 2014 World Superbike Championship season with the first official run of its BB3 machine at Portimao.

Taking to the Portuguese circuit for two days of testing, though the outing was seriously hampered by rainy conditions, the Alstare-run squad was able to get useful mileage on the BMW-engined Bimota BB3 ahead of its competition debut at Motorland Aragon next week.

Set to compete in the EVO class with experienced Ayrton Badovini and Supersport graduate Christian Iddon, though Badovini was frustrated by the lack of mileage, he was satisfied with the basic package beneath him.

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"We spent a lot of time at the track, instead of being on it," he conceded. "It's hard to believe that you could be somewhere for so long and not have much time on the bike. The conditions were so bad on the final day (Tuesday) that I decided not to go out at all. I think that I probably only managed fifteen laps overall in dry conditions.

"The rest of the time, it was either raining or the track was wet, so not ideal conditions to start working with a brand new bike! This test has been tough for all of us, but there are some positives and some things that we can work on next time out. The traction feels pretty good in the wet and generally the bike seems to be very stable in the corners. The engine feels strong and the power is nice and linear.

"Of all the things on the bike, the engine is the known quantity for me. It is our first proper time out and of course there were problems to overcome, but most, if not all, problems were small ones and ones that we know we can sort out. The next time out is going to be hard again, but all of us at Alstare are ready to give this project everything we've got."

Bimota, which hasn't competed at WSBK level since 2000, has endured a fraught build up to its return, with the BB3 never likely to meet original homologation demands. However, a change in the regulations has paved the way for the iconic Italian marque to compete, beginning with the second round in Spain.

[pic credit: Kel Edge]