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.
The World Supersport Championship arrived at the Nurburgring for round 11 with Suriano Triumph rider Alex Baldolini looking to recapture his earlier season form.
Having never been to the Nurburgring before the opening session was used to learn the layout of the undulating circuit and for Alex and the team to start work on a base setting for the rest of the weekend.
Going into final qualifying Alex was a little bit further down on the leaderboard than he wanted but both he and the team worked hard to find a solution.
The final five minutes of qualifying would see the a number of riders fall meaning some lap times couldn't be bettered, but Alex will start tomorrow's race from the 3rd row after securing 10th position on the grid.
"I haven't been here before so of course I needed to learn the track and then also our first session wasn't as productive as I wasn't pushing 100% but we worked hard and have arrived with a setting which is more comfortable for me. I think the podium battle is maybe going to be a little difficult to reach but I am confident that we can have a good race tomorrow." commented Alex after the session
The German round of the World Supersport Championship is scheduled to start at 1330 local time tomorrow and will run over 19 laps.
Suriano Triumph rider Alex Baldolini consolidated 8th position in the overall World Supersport Championship standings with a hard fought 11th place at the Moscow Raceway earlier today.Having qualified in 9th, the Italian didn't have the best of starts having been caught out looking at fellow rider Sam Lowes who subsequently jumped the start. After a modest start and an off track excursion at the final corner, Alex found himself in a race long battle for 10th. As always Baldolini used all of his experience and racecraft to mix it with the group of riders around him but by the time the race ended he had to be content with 11th.
"My start was bad because I was looking at Sam and when he went I almost followed him. Then I made a mistake at the end of the straight because I was wanting to make up places fast. The result is not so bad because I did close some points on the riders ahead of me in the championship. The next tracks I have never been to so this will be a nice challenge for me" commented Alex after the race.
The next round of the 2012 World Supersport Championship takes place at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany in two weekends time.
Race results:1. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 22 Laps/86.482 km in 36'13.935 average 143.213 kph; 2. Cluzel (Honda) 5.022; 3. Leonov (Yamaha) 13.018; 4. Morais (Kawasaki) 16.504; 5. Parkes (Honda) 32.568; 6. Foret (Kawasaki) 33.854; 7. Antonelli (Yamaha) 34.377; 8. Talmacsi (Honda) 34.471; 9. Tamburini (Honda) 37.727; 10. Scholtz (Honda) 37.802; 11. Baldolini (Triumph) 38.103; 12. Lowes (Honda) 42.645; 13. Quarmby (Honda) 42.784; 14. Marino (Kawasaki) 54.753; 15. Marconi (Yamaha) 1'00.150; 16. Linfoot (Kawasaki) 1'00.261; 17. Menghi (Yamaha) 1'00.545; 18. Debise (Honda) 1'05.189; 19. Jessopp (Honda) 1'06.004; 20. Nemeth (Honda) 1'13.510; 21. Averkin (Kawasaki) 1'14.726; 22. D'Annunzio (Honda) 1'15.508; 23. Lombardi (Yamaha) 1'17.155; 24. Toth (Honda) 1'17.981; 25. Marrancone (Honda) 1'18.651; 26. Mulhauser (Yamaha) 1'19.209; 27. Krapukhin (Yamaha) 1 Lap; 28. Polzer (Yamaha) 1 Lap; RT. Blokhin (Yamaha); RT. Chmielewski (Honda); RT. Iannuzzo (Triumph); RT. Lanusse (Kawasaki); RT. Day (Kawasaki); RT. Metcher (Yamaha).
Riders Championship: 1. Sofuoglu 173; 2. Cluzel 140; 3. Lowes 138; 4. Foret 128; 5. Parkes 109; 6. Morais 84; 7. Quarmby 70; 8. Baldolini 67; 9. Iannuzzo 51; 10. Tamburini 50; 11. Leonov 48; 12. Antonelli 47; 13. Metcher 31; 14. Talmacsi 26; 15. Lanzi 25; 16. Lanusse 20; 17. Cruciani 19; 18. Roccoli 18; 19. Toth 16; 20. Marconi 16; 21. De Rosa 15; 22. Day 14; 23. Nemeth 13; 24. Scholtz 13; 25. Richards 11; 26. Debise 10; 27. Van Poppel 8; 28. McConnell 7; 29. Voskamp 6; 30. Pesek 6; 31. Marino 5; 32. Caiani 4; 33. Jacobsen 3; 34. Menghi 3; 35. Lombardi 2; 36. Clarke 2; 37. Mossey 1; 38. Jessopp 1.
After struggling to find a base setting during the official test on Wednesday, Alex Baldolini improved in both time and position to head row 3 for the Russian round of the World Supersport Championship which
will be held at the newly built Moscow Raceway tomorrow afternoon.
Speaking shortly after the final qualifying session Alex had this to say: "We will try a few things in the Warm Up tomorrow to take us closer to the front in the race but overall I am satisfied to have made a good step forward since the test".
Alex currently sits in 8th position in the World Championship after 9 rounds.