HAGA AND FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AFTER FIRST QUALIFYING AT ASSEN Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 23rd April : Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) concluded first qualifying at the Assen TT Circuit in ninth and fourteenth...
HAGA AND FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AFTER FIRST QUALIFYING AT ASSEN
Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 23rd April : Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) concluded first qualifying at the Assen TT Circuit in ninth and fourteenth position respectively.
In the early afternoon, the riders kicked off the weekend with the first free practice session and concentrated on refining the set-up of their 1198 machines. Michel made constant improvement throughout the sixty minutes to conclude the session in eighth position ; Noriyuki, who had more difficulty, finished sixteenth.
Later on, in the first of the weekend's two qualifying sessions, both riders improved on their times with respect to the previous session and, more or less mid-way through, both Michel and Noriyuki recorded their fastest lap times. Noriyuki is still having some trouble in the second split, losing an average of sixth tenths; this is the part of the track that has been modified since last year's race with the removal of a chicane.
Unfortunately in the last minutes of qualifying, when all the riders were pushing to the limit, a fall for Rea caused a red flag. The track was reopened with almost four minutes left on the clock but Noriyuki decided not to exit, believing that the oil on the track would not permit him to improve further. Michel, with the same idea, did make an exit but only to practice his start. The Ducati Xerox riders thus concluded the session in ninth (Michel) and fourteenth (Noriyuki) position.
Michel Fabrizio 1m37.1
"We've improved throughout the day but there's still more work to do tomorrow. I expected better results but tomorrow we'll more further changes to improve the overall set-up of my bike and I hope this will allow me to drop the times. Rea is going strong, and he's not the only one; it will be challenging this weekend."
Noriyuki Haga 1m37.4
"I'm still trying to understand how best to tackle the new corner, I don't especially like that point of the track and I'm losing precious tenths in the second split. We have however improved somewhat during the day and I know we can perform better tomorrow, I just need more time on the track but I'm feeling confident."