THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM GO DUTCH Assen (The Netherlands) Tuesday 20th April: The Ducati Xerox Team, spurred on by factory rider Noriyuki Haga's recent win, travel to The Netherlands tomorrow for the fourth round of the World...
THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM GO DUTCH
Assen (The Netherlands) Tuesday 20th April: The Ducati Xerox Team, spurred on by factory rider Noriyuki Haga's recent win, travel to The Netherlands tomorrow for the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship, taking place this weekend at the historic "TT Circuit Assen".
Superbikes have raced at Assen every year since 1992 and 2010 marks Noriyuki's eleventh Superbike visit to Assen; he has seen highs and lows since 1998, celebrating race wins and numerous podium finishes yet also suffering several DNFs as a result of technical problems or heavy rain. He has a 50% success rate at the track, having been on the podium on ten occasions over 20 races; his best results were attained in 2009 on the 1198 when he scored a win and a second place finish. Last year's Assen event proved to be a little more tricky for Michel who concluded the two races in ninth and fourth position.
This year, and three races into the championship, Noriyuki is in fourth place in the championship, one point behind Carlos Checa on Althea Racing's privateer 1198, while Michel lies in eighth. The stiffest competition thus far has come from young Briton Leon Haslam on the Suzuki and from Max Biaggi on the Aprilia, who lie in first and second position overall.
On his last outing just over a week ago at Valencia, Nitro-Nori made up some lost ground by snatching his first win of the 2010 season from the hands of Checa in a thrilling race, won by the Japanese rider by a mere 0.025 of a second. These valuable championship points, along with those gained with a fifth place finish in Race 1, have contributed to closing the gap between himself and the current leaders. Michel had a less fortunate weekend, crashing in Race 1 before retiring in Race 2 due to problems of brake inconsistency. Post-Valencia, Michel spent two days testing at Mugello last week, working with his technicians to resolve the brake problems in time for this round. The results were very positive and auger well for this weekend's Assen round.
Noriyuki Haga (4th in championship, 79 points)
Having not won at Assen since 2000, Noriyuki stormed to victory again last year in Race 2, concluding Race 1 in second position, his best ever set of results at this track.
"I was very happy to win at Valencia, my first win of the season and I will do my best to back it up with two great races at Assen. Last year went well for us here, actually better than ever before at this track, and at this point I am very aware that I need two similar results this season in order to close the gap. Every weekend is a battle with so many strong riders but I'm confident we can do a good job."
Michel Fabrizio (8th in championship, 46 points)
Michel was on the Dutch podium in 2006 but unfortunately hasn't stepped up there again since then.
"Testing last week at Mugello was really useful and I'm feeling a lot more positive now that we seem to have found a solution to the brake problem. I'm confident that I can make a fresh start at Assen and be really competitive once more. I haven't had much luck at this circuit so I'll be doing my best to turn that around this time."