The Imola round of this year’s World Supersport championship promised much but delivered little after a technical problem in morning warm-up continued in the race, resulting in a retirement for Alex Baldolini in yesterday’s encounter.
Having qualified a superb 6th position after running as high as 4th earlier in the weekend, the team were in confident mood ahead of raceday.
A technical issue in the morning warm up session left the team with the only option of trying to change several parts as there was no time to conduct a full engine change. As the lights went out Alex immediately struck problems, losing several seconds to the pack of riders ahead before gradually clawing his way back into a point scoring position, only to retire 2 laps later when it looked as though a 5th consecutive top ten finish was on the cards.
Alex Baldolini: “It had been a perfect weekend until raceday. We've worked very well on the set-up of the bike during free practice and we showed a very strong pace during finishing every session between 4th and 7th, qualifying 6th. Unfortunately the bike had problems during morning warm up and I could not complete a single lap. We didn’t have enough time to change the engine before the race, so we tried to change some parts. During the sighting lap the bike seemed ok but unluckily during the warm up lap the problem came back and my engine wasn't working as it should. I tried to start but during the first lap the bike didn't work. I was last one with a big gap to the front when suddenly the bike started working again so I tried to push to catch the riders in front of me. It was quite easy and I overtook riders with a really good pace (the same as the 5th) but then when I was about to overtake Menghi and Gamarino the engine broke and I was forced to enter pits and retire. It's a pity because I'm sure I would have finished in the top 10 again even with this problem. It's not the end I wanted for this special weekend, I really love this circuit and we worked really well, we deserved a different end. However, I'm very confident for the next races as we showed once again that we can fight for top positions. I want to thank my team and all my friends who came to see me during the weekend. We will be back strong at Donington Park.”
The Race Department ATK#25 team will now regroup ready for the next race at Donington Park in the UK this weekend.