8 July 2014
WSBK Portimao: Bimota, Badovini closing on unofficial EVO ‘lead’
Had Ayrton Badovini and Bimota's results counted in 2014 so far, the Italian would be just six points off current EVO leader David Salom...
Ayrton Badovini would be just six points shy of assuming the lead in the World Superbike EVO class if the points he has scored so far for Bimota this season could be counted towards the championship.
Eight rounds into the 2014 season, there remains no indication of when Bimota will meet the homolgation quota required for the manufacturer to begin having its points' finishes officially classified. As it stands, Badovini and Christian Iddon can race as normal, but are excluded from the final results on each occasion.
It comes as Bimota, particularly in the hands of Badovini, continues to make great strides in the EVO class, the bike not only proving very quick, but also very reliable, despite the lack of electronics and pre-season development.
Indeed, had Badovini's results been counted, he would have scored 60 points so far this year. This compares with current leader David Salom, who has 74 points, though this is reduced to just 66 when you consider the points he gained by virtue of ascending positions through Bimota's exclusions.
Finishing as high as eighth this season at Donington Park – the best result for an EVO bike in 2014 -, Badovini secured another class win in Portimao with a run to ninth across the line.
“Race 2 was a wet race and I had a good feeling about the bike straightaway,” said Badovini, whose fastest lap in race two was faster than race winner Jonathan Rea. “As the race progressed I became more and more confident and my lap times improved – on par with some of the riders in the Superbike class. We had changed the bike set-up for Race 2 and although it wasn't perfect it felt pretty good and made the conditions easier to manage.
“I know it sounds strange, but I enjoyed the race, despite the rain, and it was great to finish the top EVO bike. We are learning more and more about the bike every time we go out and I am happy that we are making progress and looking forward to the next race.”
Team-mate Iddon, meanwhile, continues to make solid progress on the BMW-engined BB3, the British rider enjoying his first top 15 finish in Portugal with a 12th and a 13th across the line.
“I felt that Race 1 was a really strong race for me and I am really happy because my lap times were consistently good. I think I could've won the EVO class, but I had a couple of false neutrals and that slowed me down a bit. It felt good to be fighting with the top EVO boys though and it just shows how much progress we have made.
“Race 2 started wet and when the track was fully wet, the bike was brilliant! The lap times were coming easily and I was enjoying myself. I had a false neutral going into turn 1 and lost some places but fought back and recovered them again.
“As the track dried a bit, the bike became harder to ride and I began to have some problems with grip. Without that I feel sure that I would've been able to challenge for the top EVO spot, and maybe even take it!”
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