THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM CONTINUES WITH WINTER TESTING AT KYALAMI, FABRIZIO STILL FASTEST
Kyalami (South Africa): Thursday 11th December 2008: The Ducati Xerox Team has concluded day two of the three-day Pirelli tyre tests taking place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa, a track the makes a return to the World Superbike calendar in May 2009 after an absence of six years.
Michel Fabrizio, at the end of his first season with the Ducati Xerox squad and already looking forward to the beginning of the 2009 season, was the fastest rider on track yesterday, registering a best lap time of 1m41.2s, and has today improved on that time by a whole second while clocking up 70 laps. Experiencing no real problems with his Ducati F09, Michel's best time of today, 1m40.2s, is the fastest lap registered yet by any rider at this track.
New recruit Noriyuki Haga was on board the Ducati 1098 F09 for the first time yesterday and so far he and the team are very satisfied with the positive results achieved. The 33-year old Japanese rider has spent time working with the team to set the bike up according to his riding position and style. After the first day during which Nori fell three times, without causing injury to himself, Nori and his squad have today made good progress, the team working mainly on the front of the bike and Nori able to test a few different tyres. Fourth fastest yesterday, Nori's improved on his time with a fastest lap today of 1m40.7s.
All of the factory teams are present at the test, with the exception of Kawasaki Paul Bird Motorsport. Conditions are hot and dry, with air temperatures of around 320x00b0C and track temperatures of over 500x00b0C.
"I have enjoyed being back on the bike after some weeks off and the test has gone really well so far, I'm very happy. I hadn't seen this track before of course and I really like it, it's fun to ride. We haven't yet tried any qualifiers and I think I may be able to go a touch faster with those tyres but we'll see tomorrow, with this heat it's hard to go extremely fast. I'd like to improve even further tomorrow, I'll see what I can do."
Davide Tardozzi -- Ducati Xerox Team Manager --
"We are satisfied with the progress Nori is making, after a difficult day like yesterday. I have been very impressed with Nori's attitude and results so far this week. Today we tried many different settings and in the last hour we found a route that we will follow tomorrow and in the next tests. Third place today is a valuable result, changing manufacturer and being immediately competitive makes things easier, his winning mentality works well with our mental attitude."