PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOLD & GOOSE
In what seemed like a tennis match, Ayrton Badovini and Marco Melandri volleyed pole position back and forth during a wet Superpole session at the Nurburgring today, the two Italians swapping the top spot until Badovini finally won the duel on his final lap.
The pole was the first of Badovini’s career and just the second for the much-maligned Ducati Panigale 1199
With rain coming just minutes before the start of the two 20-minute Superpole sessions, Mother Nature intervened but didn’t stop the two Italians from brawling to the bitter end. Badovini ended Superpole 1 on top with a 2:13.459 to take the spot from Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes heading into Superpole 2.
Superpole 2 started with Badovini leading the way with a 2:13.263, which he promptly lowered to a 2:11.415 and then a 2:10.592.
Melandri countered, but then Badovini responded with a 2:10.477, only to see Melandri drop his times on the factory BMW into the 2:09s with a 2:09.711. Sykes, meanwhile, jumped up to second as Melandri went faster still – a 2:09.616. Shortly thereafter, Sykes crashed the Kawasaki, leaving it up to the other two.
With time running out, Badovini threw down a 2:09.513 to earn his first career World Superbike pole position.
Sykes held on to the third fastest time to complete the front row for tomorrow’s two races with his teammate Loris Baz ending Superpole in fourth.
Baz will be joined on the second row by Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea and his teammate Leon Haslam.
Row three, meanwhile, will be led by BMW’s Chaz Davies, the Welshman having been the fastest in the two dry qualifying sessions prior to the wet Superpole. He will have Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli alongside with Superpole crasher Jules Cluzel filling the third row on the Fixi Crescent Suzuki.
Final Qualifying Results
World Superbike, Nurburgring, Germany
August 30, 2013
1. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 2:09.513
2. Marco Melandri (BMW) 2:09.616
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 2:10.136
4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 2:10.401
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 2:11.204
6. Leon Haslam (Honda) 2:12.006
7. Chad Davies (BMW) 2:12.663
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 2:13.177
9. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 2:14.454
10. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 2:15.975