Ducati starts to confirm the potential, Magny Cours wasn't the best weekend but showed that Panigale can.
After the Laguna Seca round where Nicolo Canepa managed to finish with a +0.184 difference in Superpole, Ducati showed that all the tests and the new parts brought in the mix are starting to pay off the efforts and this week end, in France, Pirro brought the 1199 on 6th place after starting 10th.
Race 1 – after a warm-up that took place early this morning on a wet track and in low temperatures, the Ducati Alstare riders returned to the track, now dry, for race 1 which got underway at midday. Starting from sixth position on the grid, Ayrton was lying eighth by the end of lap one with Michele behind him in twelfth position. Badovini lost a couple of positions in the initial stages but then slowly made up the lost ground, battling first with team-mate Pirro and then with Haslam and Fabrizio in the second half of the race. Fighting the two Honda riders right to the line, Ducati Alstare man Ayrton crossed the line in final ninth position in this opening race, cut to 18 laps after Aitchison suffered a crash. Michele, tenth on the grid after suffering an accident in yesterday’s Superpole session, made a strong recovery in the opening stages and was lying ninth by lap three. With determination and some hard braking, he slowly worked his way up the field, battling with and passing several riders during the 18-lap race. Struggling due to back pain resulting from yesterday’s crash, Pirro crossed the line in final sixth position, an encouraging result at the end of his first ever Superbike race.
Race 2 – the second race got underway in dry conditions. Lapping in ninth (Ayrton) and fourteenth place (Michele) at the end of the opening lap, unfortunately the riders lost some ground in the initial stages. During the course of the third lap, Pirro unfortunately crashed when he lost the front of his bike. Unfortunately his first Superbike weekend ended there. Badovini maintained the tenth position for the majority of the race. Unable to push as hard as he would have liked, he closed the second race in that same position.
“In the second race I was having trouble physically, the fact that I still cannot train as I would like conditions my performance in the races. The first I was able to manage a little better but I wasn’t able to keep up the pace in the second. I hoped to do better, also because my grid position was not bad. Now we will concentrate on the last round in Jerez – I would like to close the season with a good result.”
“We were unlucky today and my physical condition after yesterday’s crash surely didn’t help. After race one my back was very painful and I had to take painkillers for the second, that then finished badly. We needed a practice session in dry conditions, in order to better prepare for today’s dry races. Anyway, considering it was all new for me this weekend, and considering the difficult weather conditions, I can say that I’ve learned a lot, even if I hoped to do better in the races. I hope to have another opportunity to race, because with more time and experience I think I can do better.”