THE SUPERBIKE CIRCUS IS BACK IN EUROPE; THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM LANDS IN SPAIN Valencia (Spain), Monday 30th March: The Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio set off for Spain and the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo...
THE SUPERBIKE CIRCUS IS BACK IN EUROPE; THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM LANDS IN SPAIN
Valencia (Spain), Monday 30th March: The Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio set off for Spain and the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, for the third round, and first European appointment, of the 2009 World Superbike championship.
The Ducati Xerox Team has already visited Phillip Island and Qatar this season, rounds that saw 34-year old Noriyuki stepping up to the podium four times out of four, having scored a race win and three second place finishes. These great results mean that Nitro-Nori currently leads the riders classification with 85 points after the first two rounds and Ducati is at the top of the manufacturers board, closely followed by Yamaha. Meanwhile Michel left Phillip Island with good points but followed this with two DNFs at Losail which leaves him in eleventh place in the riders classification.
Competition is tough this season, with Ben Spies and his Yamaha R1 immediately showing their strength in the opening rounds, but the Ducati Xerox Team is determined, prepared and confident as the riders move on to this, the third World Superbike event at Cheste this weekend. This will be the Superbikes tenth consecutive visit to the Ricardo Tormo track and is set to be one of the most exciting yet. Riders will also strive to beat Hodgson's long-standing lap record that he set on board the Ducati 999 back in 2003.
Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 85 points)
Noriyuki enjoys racing at this Spanish circuit, not surprisingly as he has also had a lot of success there, winning races in 2008, 2004 and 2000 and visiting the podium on a string of occasions.
"Valencia is one of my favourite tracks and I know I can go well there. I like the layout, with its many tight corners. The Ducati was fast there last year with Troy and so I hope I can be back on the podium again this weekend with the 1198. Consistency is key this season and with the competition that we face, we need to make every single race count, taking as many as points as possible."
Michel Fabrizio (11th in championship, 24 points)
Michel has not had particular success so far at the Ricardo Tormo track but hopes to remedy that this season.
"I was extremely disappointed to come away from Qatar without points, to have two DNFs in one weekend is a big set back when the competition is so tough this season. I have to rectify this with a strong performance at Valencia. I like the Spanish track, even if my results in recent years don't demonstrate this, and I feel fit and ready both physically and mentally, so I would say that I am quietly confident."
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