|A tough Superpole session meant a fifth row start for Alvaro Bautista, but a strong comeback saw him crossing the finish line a solid sixth.|
Round eight of the Superbike World Championship continues as Team HRC completes the first of the weekend’s races at the French track of Nevers Magny-Cours.
Earlier in the day, conditions remained dry for the all-important Superpole. With just 15 minutes in which to set the fastest possible lap time and obtain a good grid position, Bautista didn’t waste any time.
Alvaro had a tougher time, struggling to complete a clean lap. A fastest time of 1’37.269 put him in fourteenth place at the session’s end, so a fifth-row start for the Spaniard.
At 2pm local time, the riders lined up for the first 21-lap Superbike race. Bautista got away well, eleventh at the end of lap one. Lap eight saw him move into eighth place, right behind team-mate Haslam.
The Team HRC duo moved into sixth and seventh place on lap sixteen and Alvaro was able to score a solid sixth-place finish.
“I really enjoyed today’s race and making a comeback from fourteenth on the grid to sixth across the line. This morning I struggled to complete a good lap time in qualifying. I don’t know why but I didn’t feel I had sufficient grip in the rear tyre, so even if I pushed hard, I couldn’t be particularly fast. I was only able to improve by a couple of tenths with respect to the times I was setting with the race trye. I was confident for the race though, because I knew we had good race pace, so it was important to make a good start and try to stick with the guys ahead. And that’s exactly what we did so I’m happy, because I feel we did the best we can right now. For tomorrow it would be good to score a top-nine position in the sprint race so that we have a better start position for the second race, in which the aim is to try and improve further.”