WITH WDW BEHIND THEM, THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM RETURNS TO MISANO FOR ROUND 8 OF THE WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP Misano (Italy), Tuesday 22nd June: After recent race weekends in South Africa and America, the Ducati Xerox Team have less distance to...
WITH WDW BEHIND THEM, THE DUCATI XEROX TEAM RETURNS TO MISANO FOR ROUND 8 OF THE WORLD SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP
Misano (Italy), Tuesday 22nd June: After recent race weekends in South Africa and America, the Ducati Xerox Team have less distance to travel for the upcoming World Superbike round, which will take place at the Misano World Circuit, just 150km from the Borgo-Panigale factory and, along with Imola, a "home" circuit for the Italian factory team.
The team recently spent six days at Misano when they carried out official testing sessions during the sixth edition of World Ducati Week. On track alongside Troy Bayliss and other private Ducati SBK teams, factory riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga worked hard together with their technicians and the positive results of the test sessions bode well for the upcoming race weekend.
Although the Ducati Superbikes have traditionally performed well at this track, it is strange that until now neither Noriyuki nor Michel has obtained a race win here, despite podium finishes in their favour. This will be Haga's eleventh SBK event at this track and Fabrizio's fifth visit. Michel's best Misano weekend to date was just last season, when he scored a double podium, while Noriyuki finished the two races in fifth and third position, registering a new lap record in Race 2.
At the most recent round in Salt Lake City, three weeks ago, Japanese rider Haga returned to the podium with a third place finish in Race 1, backed up with fourth in the second race, while Fabrizio had a tougher time of it, crashing out of Race 1 before battling to ninth position in Race 2. With the third place achieved in America, Noriyuki can now boast 109 podium finishes over his Superbike career, equalling Carl Fogarty's impressive score. Only Troy Corser has experienced more rostrums, with 129 podium finishes to date.
Noriyuki Haga (5th in championship, 135 points)
Haga has never finished higher than second at this Italian track, something he would like to rectify this year.
"I'm hopeful that after the podium at Salt Lake, things are getting back on track for us. We had a tiring but productive time at WDW and I'm now looking forward to the Misano race with confidence. Last year didn't go to plan as Race 1 was surprisingly wet and this caused me some problems. I've had highs and lows at Misano over the years and it's a track I've never won at; I don't know if that will be possible this time around with the level of competition that we are seeing this year, but I will try my best as always."
Michel's best performance at Misano to date was in 2009 when he scored a double podium.
"We've just tested at Misano, during World Ducati Week, and the sessions went well. It was very hot, as I'm sure it will be for the race too, and so I feel that we are now better prepared for the coming weekend. I'd like to improve on last year's performance of course and am very aware that although I have taken wins at Monza and Imola I've not yet managed it at Misano -- rest assured that I'll be doing everything in my power to change that this season."