Fresh from a provisional top ten in the wet qualifying conditions yesterday, Suriano’s Alex Baldolini was excited to sample the Suzuki GSXR in the dry for the first time since returning to the team this weekend.
The weather conditions were almost ideal, giving Alex the best opportunity to get to grips with the new machine.
Well inside the top twenty in this morning’s free practice, Alex continued to improve his lap times in final qualifying this afternoon closing to with 0.7 seconds of the top ten.
With the morning warm up session still allowing some additional tweaks, Alex is confident of a strong showing in the 22 lap race tomorrow afternoon.
Alex Baldolini returned to the top ten with a determined ride to tenth position in the opening qualifying session of the World Supersport championship at Donington Park earlier today.
The former podium finisher (Misano last year) is already feeling 'at home' having returned to the Suriano Team who have switched to Suzuki machinery after campaigning Triumphs last year.
Conditions at Donington were typically British with gusty winds and rain showers hitting the Leicestershire circuit throughout the day.
Despite the tricky conditions, Alex rode brilliantly to secure 10th position on the provisional grid.
The weather tomorrow should be better and Alex is eager to replicate today's result in the dry.
Alex Baldolini: "The conditions today weren't the best for trying a new bike but we are improving lap by lap. The engine is a lot stronger than when I tested it last year, it's smoother and has more power. It will be interesting to see how we go in the dry, I made a small mistake today at the hairpin on my last lap but overall I am satisfied."
Alex Baldolini heads to Donington Park this weekend full of optimism after a post Monza team change will see him line up on the British grid with his former team, Suriano Racing.
Alex is no stranger to the family run team having had his debut World Supersport season last year with the then Triumph team.
This year Suriano Racing are Suzuki powered and are already making people sit up and take note as young South African Matthew Scholtz has secured some encouraging results.
With a podium finish at Misano last year, Alex could well spring some surprises over the coming races as he looks to get his season back on track.
Alex Baldolini: "I am delighted to return to Ninetto Suriano's team, and am anxious to get back in the saddle GSX-R after the positive experience in the Christmas trophy race at Vallelunga. Unfortunately, the season has not started in the best way for me, but I am convinced that with the help of everyone at Suriano Suzuki we can soon be back in the positions that we were expecting before the season. I've seen the great work done by the team on the bike after only four races with a completely new bike, it has improved spectacularly and I am looking forward to working with Matthew to make even better results. I'm really happy and focused and I want to thank all the people who made it possible for my return to Team Suriano. "
After a disappointing opening round at Phillip Island, Lorini Honda rider Alex Baldolini dug deep to salvage a spirited 11th position in the 2nd round of the 2013 World Supersport championship at the Motorland Aragon circuit earlier today.
The former moto 2 and world supersport podium finisher is still seeking an ideal setting for his machine after switching from Triumph to Honda this year but both he and the team are pleased with the progress that they are making and look forward to further improvements at Assen in two weeks time.
Alex Baldolini – Lorini Honda: "We know the engine wasn't so fast today so I tried to stay near the others but they start to go away even in the first lap. I tried to save my tyre to push at the end to pass Marconi and Roccoli. I managed to pass Massimo but Marconi's bike was faster. I'm not totally happy but we will work hard to fix the speed of the bike and try our best at Assen."
Alex Baldolini looked like pulling off a solid 11th position finish until tyre wear issues prevented any further advancement through the field.
The Lorini Honda rider had a difficult opening weekend to this year's campaign suffering a fall on Friday and several set up isssues with his new machine. Despite these problems the former WSS podium finisher raced hard and after starting 20th soon found himself just outside the top ten.
A dejected Baldolini was obviously disappointed at the end of the shortened 15 lap encounter and he will now focus on achieving a stronger result when the championship heads back to Europe in mid April for round two.
Alex Baldolini (15th) - 'It has been a weekend to forget. I am sorry for everyone who woke up or didn't sleep to see me race. I was up to 11th but I had many tyre blisters during the last 6 laps. My tyres were finished and it was impossible to ride. I am very disappointed to have started the championship this way. We have a lot of work to do but we must look forward to Aragon where we will do our best to achieve the best possible result.'
(By Michael Hill Promotions)