FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) TAKES SECOND AT VALLELUNGA, CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE REMAINS IN THE BALANCE Vallelunga (Italia), Sunday 21st September 2008: Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) celebrated a second place finish in front of his home crowd at the ...
FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) TAKES SECOND AT VALLELUNGA, CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE REMAINS IN THE BALANCE
Vallelunga (Italia), Sunday 21st September 2008: Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) celebrated a second place finish in front of his home crowd at the Vallelunga circuit this afternoon. A race in which Troy Bayliss could have taken the title, Fabrizio not only took a podium place but also played the role of team-mate to perfection, doing his utmost to help Bayliss take the title, only to see Bayliss fall on the closing lap.
In Race 1, and despite a strong start, Ducati Xerox factory rider Troy Bayliss held the lead for just a lap before the chasing pack started to create problems for the Australian, overtaking him one by one. The 24-lap race was characterised by a battle at the front between Haga, Biaggi and Corser, all strong riders at this track last year too. An anomaly with both the front and rear tyres meant that 39-year old Troy and his Ducati F08 were unable to catch the leaders and he was forced to settle for eventual sixth position. Team-mate Michel Fabrizio rode a consistent first race, starting from, and also finishing in, seventh position.
The second race was one of the most exciting of the season, with Bayliss needing to finish the race just five points ahead of Corser to take the title. Bayliss made another flying start and held the lead this time for the first five laps, before Haga passed him for the first time. Bayliss and Haga held the lead for the rest of the race, battling it out for first place while a hungry Fabrizio chased Corser in a battle for third. Fabrizio was aware of the situation and knew that, in taking Corser, he would not only finish on the podium but also help his team-mate Bayliss to take the title. On the final lap Fabrizio achieved his goal, only to see team-mate Bayliss crash out a couple of corners later. Bayliss picked up his bike to complete the race in sixteenth position.
Bayliss' lead in the championship has dropped from 101 to 79 points, ahead of Corser in second and Haga and Neukirchner who now lie in joint third place. Fabrizio take away a healthy 29 points from the weekend's racing and lies in eighth place with 201 points.
Ducati takes solid points today in the manufactures classification and so continues to lead the championship, holding 479 points ahead of second-placed Yamaha (416 points).
Troy Bayliss (Race 1 - 6th, Race 2 - 16th)
"Well of course we were hoping to take the title here today and so of course I'm disappointed. It was a great race and I lost, that's about all I can say. I gave it everything I had in the second race and was fighting to pass Haga. As I didn't know what was happening behind me, and so had no idea that Michel was about to pass Corser, I'd already decided in the closing stages, with six laps to go, that I was going to try and take Nori and either win or crash because I knew that me finishing second and Corser third wouldn't be enough to take the title and I really wanted to finish the job here today. I got close enough but then riding so close to the limit, it only took one tiny thing, either a little bit too much brake or too much lean, and I went down. It didn't end the way we had hoped but we move on, there are still two rounds to go and I have a good points advantage still."
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 - 7th, Race 2 - 2nd)
"I am really happy with my result although I am obviously really disappointed for Troy. I knew the points situation and knew that I could help Troy by getting past Corser and so I gave it my all. It wasn't easy as Corser was also riding really hard but I managed it in the end and am very happy to be on the podium at my home race. Race one was less of a success for me as we made a wrong choice with regard to the front tyre, in the same way that Troy did. At the end of today, I'm just sorry that me and Troy wont be celebrating together in the way that we might have been. I thank the whole team, the sponsors and my wife who have all helped me attain today's result."