Assen: Ducati qualifying report

HAGA FOURTH AND FABRIZIO FIFTH ON THE GRID FOR TOMORROW'S RACES AT ASSEN. Assen (The Netherlands) Saturday 25th April: the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio today completed the fourth Superpole of the 2009 Superbike season...

HAGA FOURTH AND FABRIZIO FIFTH ON THE GRID FOR TOMORROW'S RACES AT ASSEN.

Assen (The Netherlands) Saturday 25th April: the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio today completed the fourth Superpole of the 2009 Superbike season and secured themselves solid positions on the front rows of tomorrow's grid.

In the second qualifying session, which took place on a relatively cool track this morning, both Noriyuki and Michel were able to greatly improve on the times they set yesterday to qualify for the Superpole in second (Nori) and fifth position (Michel). The two factory riders both seemed more comfortable on board their Ducati 1198 bikes today although lack of grip remained something of an issue.

In the last five minutes of the afternoon free practice session Nori took a fall, losing the front, which came as a surprise even to him. The factory rider was fortunately unhurt and although the bike suffered damage Nori's team worked flat out to have the second bike ready for the Superpole which started just twenty minutes later. The two Ducati Xerox factory riders then calculated the Superpole sessions well, both using the two available qualifying tyres in the second and third mini-Superpoles, and both registering a fastest lap time of 1m38.2s to ensure themselves the fourth (Nori) and fifth spot (Michel) on tomorrow's grid. Privateer outfit Team Guandalini were also satisfied to see their rider Smrz, on board his Ducati 1098R, finish second in today's Superpole.

Noriyuki Haga 1m38.2s

"Unfortunately at the end of the free practice session I came off; I lost the front for no particular reason gong into the corner which was a bit of a surprise but anyway I wasn't hurt and it did not affect my performance in Superpole. I'm not so happy with the level of grip but I think that it is something that we can resolve in the morning. We will see tomorrow in the warm-up. For the tyres there is only one option for tomorrow so we are sorted there. I can tell that tomorrow we'll have two tough races as the times are all very close but I feel we are in a position to fight to win both."

Michel Fabrizio 1m38.2s

"The second qualifying tyre that I used during the Superpole, in the last session, had a bit more grip with respect to the first but I didn't feel right with the general set-up of the bike . We still ahven't toally understood the problem but I wasn't able to give 100% as it felt like I was opening the gas but the bike was drifting. Having said that I am on the second row tomorrow, and even though I hoped to be further forward, I guess I'm fairly satisfied."

-credit: ducati

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Noriyuki Haga , Michel Fabrizio