FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AFTER FIRST QUALIFYING AT SALT LAKE CITY Salt Lake City (USA), Saturday 29th May: the Ducati Xerox squad is both satisfied and confident at the end of day one in Salt Lake City, with some very ...
FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AFTER FIRST QUALIFYING AT SALT LAKE CITY
Salt Lake City (USA), Saturday 29th May: the Ducati Xerox squad is both satisfied and confident at the end of day one in Salt Lake City, with some very encouraging results in first qualifying at the Miller Motorsports Park. Factory rider Michel Fabrizio, having closed first practice in first place, continued to impress in qualifying when he finished the session in second position overall. Team-mate Noriyuki Haga, concentrating predominantly on set-up refinement, closed in twelfth position but remains confident after a positive start.
Roman rider Fabrizio made a determined start to the weekend, immediately fast in today's first free practice session on board his 1198. Despite blustery conditions the times of all Superbike riders on track dropped by several seconds during the session but it was Michel who closed in first position, with a fastest time of 1m49.7 (only he and Carlos Checa ducked under 1m50 in this first session). Noriyuki, in the top five for the first half of the session, made some fast laps but dropped to tenth place in the final minutes. The two Althea Racing riders Carlos Checa and Shane Byrne, also riding 1198 machines, finished in second and third position respectively.
In first qualifying the two Ducati Xerox riders began to pick up the pace from mid-session onwards. Michel projected himself from 11th to 2nd position and although other riders made faster laps in the closing stages, a final fast lap by Fabrizio consolidated second place, just a tenth of a second behind Smrz on Team Pata B&G's Ducati. Noriyuki and his team worked to optimize set-up of the 1198, with the Japanese rider thus concluding first qualifying in twelfth position yet satisfied with the times registered in the latter part of the session.
"We still have work to do tomorrow with regard to the set-up of my 1198 but I'd say we've made a good start today. I was able to make some fast laps but tomorrow we need to concentrate more on the durability of the tyres, and make a long-run to understand how the two available tyres behave. For now I'm very happy and today's results bode well for Monday's races."
"I seem to have better feeling with the bike with respect to last year at this track, the level of absorption is better. Today we concentrated mainly on the race distance but we know what direction to take tomorrow and will of course aim to improve on times. We still have to decide which tyre to use for the races as it will depend greatly on weather conditions but I can say that I'm feeling fairly confident ahead of tomorrow and Monday's races."