Bimota Alstare Racing’s Christian Iddon had a frustrating race day in Malaysia at round six of the World Superbike Championship.
The High Peak-based rider crashed out of the first race but recovered to score a 16th place finish in the second outing.
The 5.5km Sepang circuit was making its debut on the World Superbike calendar, however, several of the riders had raced there at Grand Prix level.
The two very long straights give the factory bikes a big advantage over their EVO counterparts, with the hot and humid conditions making life difficult for the riders.
Iddon made a steady improvement during practice and comfortably made it through to Saturday’s Superpole session. He qualified his Alstare Bimota 15th overall and third fastest of the EVOs.
“All weekend we had been very fast in the first part of the lap but not so much in the final part and that showed also in Superpole,” Iddon said.
“We had no chance on this track against factory lads. It was still one of our strongest dry weather Superpoles of the year so far though.”
The opening race began in chaotic fashion. An early incident claimed a number of victims but fortunately Iddon was able to take advantage and move himself up to seventh, just behind EVO leader David Salom.
Over the next few laps some of the factory riders were able to recover but Iddon held on in the top-ten and remained in touch with Salom.
That was until lap nine, when Iddon lost the front at the final left-hander and crashed out of the race.
Race two had to be stopped due to oil on the circuit. Iddon, who had been going well before the stoppage, struggled in the shortened re-start.
He was unable to reproduce his earlier pace and lost touch with the lead EVO machines.
He eventually finished 16th overall, fifth of the EVOs.
Iddon added: “It was a shame the races didn’t go to plan as we had been very strong all weekend long.
“Sepang was a new track for nearly everyone so I was really excited about that.
“The weather conditions were always going to be tough but I prepared myself really well physically so again was quite keen to see how that would work out.
“There has been a lot of very positive things going on with regard to set up and how the bike is working. That didn’t translate into results unfortunately but, over time, I’m sure that it will.”
Round seven of the World Superbike Championship will take place over the weekend of June 21 and 22 at Misano in Italy.