Valencia: Ducati preview

THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM TRAVELS TO SPAIN FOR THE FIRST EUROPEAN ROUND OF THE SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) are both fit and ready for Round 3 and the first European appointment on the 2008 Superbike...

THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM TRAVELS TO SPAIN FOR THE FIRST EUROPEAN ROUND OF THE SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) are both fit and ready for Round 3 and the first European appointment on the 2008 Superbike calendar, taking place this weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit of Valencia in Spain. Having had nearly a month to recuperate from the injuries they sustained in Phillip Island, both riders are now keen to build upon the results achieved already in the opening rounds of the championship. Bayliss has won three of the four races held so far, and heads to Spain as championship leader, and team-mate Fabrizio has also made an impressive start, having already scored his first podium finish with the Ducati Xerox Team.

During the latest Phillip Island race weekend Bayliss was left with stitches in his left elbow after high-siding while Fabrizio suffered contusions to his right calf in an incident on the starting line. Bayliss and Fabrizio have spent the last few weeks at home, training and undergoing medical treatments so as to be in peak physical condition for the upcoming European rounds in Valencia, Assen and Monza.

Troy Bayliss (1st in championship, 88 points)

Troy has had a string of wins and podium finishes at the Ricardo Tormo track, including double Superbike wins in 2001 and 2006 and the spectacular MotoGP win at the close of the 2006 season, and hopes for further success here in 2008.

"We've had such a long break since Phillip Island, added to by the fact we didn't test here in Valencia a couple of weeks ago, so I'm definitely ready to get back on the bike now. I've put in some serious training during the last few weeks and feel like I'm now in really good shape - the collarbone feels stronger than ever and the elbow is pretty much back to normal too. I expectnearly everyone to go better at this track and I'm sure that those teams that were perhaps a little behind with getting ready for the championship will now start to show results. I'm really looking forward to the weekend. It's quite a physical track and you don't get much rest but this means that it's great for the spectator and makes for real racing - there's normally a good battle there!"

Michel Fabrizio (8th in championship, 34 points)

Michel knows the Valencia track very well and will be looking for some strong results to consolidate his recent performances in Qatar and Phillip Island.

"Physically I am now feeling much better and it only helps matters that my family are finally able to be at the track with me. Unfortunately my training has been limited in these last few weeks to swimming, according to the doctors' recommendations, so I agree with Troy that a month away from the racing has felt like a very long time! We'll say how we get going tomorrow but I can say that I like the Valencia circuit and that I have some good memories of racing here, in both the Superbike and Supersport championships. The only thing I can add is that if you don't get a good start here it's very hard to catch up."

Country: Spain
Name: Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo
Circuit length: 4.005 km
Pole position: Right
Corners left: 9
Corners right: 5
Length of race: 23 laps / 92.115 km

Lap records: Fastest lap: Hodgson (Ducati), 1'35.007 (2003).
Superpole: Bayliss (Ducati), 1'34.559 (2007).

=credit: ducati.com

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Michel Fabrizio , Phillip Island