Silverstone (UK), Saturday 3 August 2013: after an extended Superpole, caused by the onset of rain during the third phase, Checa and his technicians managed the final (‘wet’) session perfectly, securing themselves a position on the front row of the grid, second, for tomorrow’s SBK races at the Silverstone circuit.
Second qualifying took place this morning on a dry track. Thanks to changes made by his technicians overnight, Checa made significant improvement in terms of lap times, dropping his best time set yesterday by a second and a half to record a fastest lap of 2’06.0. Thanks to this lap time, the Spanish rider qualified for Superpole in overall ninth position. Badovini was unable to improve on yesterday’s times but nevertheless progressed to the Superpole, having qualified in fourteenth place thanks to his fastest lap set yesterday (2’06.7).
Superpole 1: Out on race rubber, Checa immediately recorded a fast lap of 2’04.9 with which he closed this first phase in overall seventh position. Badovini, having gone out first with a race tyre and then with a qualifier, unfortunately missed out on the second phase by just thousandths of a second, thus qualifying for tomorrow’s races in thirteenth position. (2’05.4).
Superpole 2: Carlos once again closed in seventh place, thanks to a time of 2’04.7, recorded this time with the first of the two qualifying tyres available to him.
Superpole 3: When it started to rain just four minutes before the end of the phase, the session was stopped with a red flag. Carlos’ best time, that placed him sixth at that point, was deleted, as were the times of all the riders, with Race Direction effectively annulling that session and arranging a final ‘wet’ Superpole session of twenty minutes.
‘Wet’ Superpole: some of the riders, Carlos included, went straight out to take advantage of practically dry conditions. Checa was able to conclude his lap despite the onset of rain through the final section of the track, positioning himself fourth. At this point all riders were forced to return to the pits. Three minutes from the end, seeing that the rain had stopped, Carlos and his rivals returned to the track to make one final push. Giving it his all, the Spanish rider was able to complete one final fast lap just in time, earning himself the second spot on tomorrow’s race grid.
Carlos Checa: “We managed the final ‘wet’ session really well; I went straight out and was lying fourth when it started to rain and we thought it would stay wet until the end. Instead, in the final minutes, I saw that others were going back out so I decided to head out too. I took some risks because at that point I didn’t know if there were damp sections or not but let’s say it was worth it because I finished second. I’m pleased because after yesterday’s problems we’ve taken a big step forward today and I was able to lap well with the race tyre too, recording some very good times in the Superpole. It won’t be easy tomorrow but I hope to be able to make a good start and be there fighting with the leaders. I want to thank my team who’ve worked really hard all weekend, and especially for how they managed this afternoon’s atypical Superpole.”
Ayrton Badovini: “I’m not at all pleased with how today went – I expected to be able to do more and at least reach phase two. Unfortunately, like yesterday, I suffered from a lack of grip and also chattering. The qualifier didn’t really give me the advantage that I hoped to see and so my Superpole came to an end straight away. It won’t be easy from the fourth row…. We’ll have to see what conditions are like tomorrow and take it from there but in my case it would be useful if it rained…”
TIMES (Superpole): 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 2’04.7; 2. Checa (Ducati Alstare) 2’04.9; 3. Rea (Honda) 2’05.0; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 2’05.1; 5. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’05.9; 6. Davies (BMW) 2’06.3; 7. Camier (Aprilia) 2’06.7; 8. Guintoli (Aprilia) 2’05.5… 13. Badovini (Ducati Alstare) 2’05.4