After starting 10th, Alex Baldolini rode a mature race to collect 8 points in the penultimate round of the World Supersport Championship and with it extended his advantage over South African Ronan Quarmby in the battle for 7th place overall in the World Championship Standings.
The race started without incident with Alex circulating inside the top ten but a small mistake dropped him to 12th.
As the front 7 riders eased away, Alex was locked in a titanic battle involving 9 riders with only 1.2 seconds covering them all as they passed the start and finish line to start the last lap.
Alex crossed the line in a credible 8th whilst Kenan Sofuoglu from Turkey finished second in the race to clinch his 3rd World Supersport Championship.
The final round of the championship is held at the Magny-Cours circuit in France in two weeks time.
Portimao Race Result: 1. Cluzel (Honda) 20 Laps/91.840 km in 36'05.886 average 152.651 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.645; 3. Foret (Kawasaki) 0.969; 4. Parkes(Honda) 1.035; 5. Lowes (Honda) 3.905; 6. Morais (Kawasaki) 5.936; 7. Linfoot (Kawasaki) 22.555; 8. Baldolini (Triumph) 22.595; 9. Quarmby (Honda) 23.121; 10. Scholtz (Honda) 23.740; 11. Roccoli (Yamaha) 24.516; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 25.609; 13. Antonelli (Yamaha) 25.617; 14. Metcher (Yamaha) 25.919; 15. Talmacsi (Honda) 27.667; 16. Marino (Kawasaki) 27.669; 17. Praia (Honda) 30.246; 18. Debise (Honda) 30.584; 19. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 30.767; 20. Toth (Honda) 32.093; 21. Nemeth (Honda) 52.261; 22. Jessopp (Honda) 1'13.403; 23. Vlasov (Yamaha) 1'13.599; 24. Marrancone (Honda) 1'18.998; 25. Maurin (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; RT. Polzer (Yamaha); RT. Pasek (Honda); RT. Menghi (Yamaha); RT. Marconi (Yamaha); RT. Lombardi(Honda); RT. Blokhin (Yamaha); RT. Iannuzzo (Triumph); RT. Tamburini (Honda).
Riders Championship: 1. Sofuoglu 218; 2. Cluzel 185; 3. Foret 160; 4. Lowes 152; 5. Parkes 135; 6. Morais 94; 7. Baldolini 86; 8. Quarmby 84; 9. Iannuzzo 60; 10. Leonov 52; 11. Antonelli 52; 12. Tamburini 50; 13. Talmacsi 37; 14. Metcher 34; 15. Roccoli 29; 16. Lanzi 25; 17. Lanusse 25;18. Cruciani 19; 19. Scholtz 19; 20. Toth 16; 21. Marconi 16; 22. De Rosa 15; 23. Day 14; 24. Nemeth 13; 25. Richards 11; 26. Debise 10; 27. Linfoot 9; 28. Marino 9; 29. Linortner 8; 30. Van Poppel 8; 31. McConnell 7; 32. Voskamp 6; 33. Pesek 6; 34. Caiani 4; 35. Jacobsen 3; 36. Menghi 3; 37. Lombardi 2; 38. Clarke 2; 39. Mossey 1; 40. Jessopp 1.
Alex Baldolini will line up 10th on the grid tomorrow for the penultimate round of the 2012 World Supersport Championship.
Having adjusted the electronics to improve traction and the grip levels on his Suriano Triumph machine, Alex improved his lap time significantly to qualify on the 3rd row of the grid.
The race tomorrow will be a tough one at the undulating Portimao circuit, with a variety of weather conditions forecast depending on who you talk to within the paddock.
Whatever the weather, and despite a small crash towards the end of the session, Alex is confident of another solid performance as he aims to end his debut season within the World Supersport Championship inside the top 6.
Alex had this to say after making it back to the pit box after the session: “During the final part of qualifying there was a lot of traffic. It’s a shame that I crashed on the last lap because I think I could have improved my time. I would have liked the second row for sure but for the race I am ok as we have good pace.”
Tomorrow’s race is scheduled to run over 20 laps and is due to start at 1330 local time.
The Portimao circuit in Portugal is another new track for Suriano Triumph’s Alex Baldolini.
Fresh from a superb 5th place in Germany two weeks ago, Alex knew that the challenge ahead on the opening day would be the same as at the Nurburgring i.e. to learn the undulating Portuguese circuit.
After ending the opening day in a respectable 12thposition Alex is confident of challenging for at least a second row start in final qualifying tomorrow.
“Again this a new track for me but I like it. We are closer to the front on day one than we were on day one in Germany and tomorrow we will make some changes to give me a little more grip. The target has to be the 2nd row and I think this is possible” commented the Triumph rider shortly after the session had ended.
Having finished in a very credible 6th position in yesterday's World Supersport race at the Nurburgring, Italian rider Alex Baldolini has been promoted to 5th following the disqualification of Vladamir Leonov.
The result doesn't alter the overall championship standings with Alex lying in 6th position overall with two races remaining.
Alex Baldolini may have never ridden at the historic Nurburgring circuit before but that didn't stop him finishing in a superb 6th position in today's World Supersport race in Germany.
Starting from the third row he made a steady start to maintain his position after the opening few laps.
By half distance there was a titanic battle at the front between five riders but the racing behind was just as fierce. Alex had by this point moved into the top eight and he set about hunting down the riders battling for 6th.
Getting into his rhythm he soon caught and subsequently passed Ronan Quarmby but the talented Italian wasn't finished there and had soon latched onto the back of Vladimir Leonov and former 125cc World Champion Gabor Talmacsi.
The race was eventually won by who overcame a number of challenges from Jules Cluzel and Fabien Foret who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Alex finished a very impressive 6th, and the 10 points that he won today elevated him into 7th in the overall championship standings.
1st K. Sofuoglu Kawasaki Lorenzini
2nd J. Cluzel PTR Honda
3rd F.Foret Kawasaki Intermoto Step
5th A. Baldolini Suriano Racing Team
Championship Standings after today's race:
1st K. Sofuoglu Kawasaki Lorenzini 198 points
2nd J. Cluzel PTR Honda 160 points
3rd F. Foret Kawasaki Intermoto Step 144 points
7th A. Baldolini Suriano Racing Team 77 points
The penultimate round of the championship is at Portimao, in Portugal on September 24th, 2012.