Misano: Ducati Sunday report

UNDER THE MISANO SUN, FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) GRITS HIS TEETH TO TAKE THIRD IN RACE 2 Misano (Italy), Sunday 27th June: at the end of a hot and tiring day at the Misano World Circuit, the Ducati Xerox team were pleased to see Italian rider...


Misano (Italy), Sunday 27th June: at the end of a hot and tiring day at the Misano World Circuit, the Ducati Xerox team were pleased to see Italian rider Michel Fabrizio step up to the podium in race 2 of the eighth round of the World Superbike championship.

In Race 1 the two Ducati Xerox riders made a pretty good start, Michel finding himself in fourth position after the first corner with his team mate Noriyuki Haga behind him in sixth. Although Sylvain Guintoli quickly passed Michel, the Roman rider was able to move back up to fourth by passing the Frenchman on the fifth lap. In front of him, Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa and Troy Corser battled it out for the win while Fabrizio was unfortunately unable to close the gap, finishing in fourth, the position he had held for the best part of the race. Noriyuki on the other hand, starting from ninth on the grid, found that the feeling with his 1198 improved after the first few laps but problems, particularly on entry into the corners, meant he was unable to catch the leading group of five. The Japanese rider stuck with Leon Haslam through the second half of the race, managing to get past him on the last of the 24 laps, to conclude Race 1 in seventh position.

For Fabrizio the start of Race 2 was a copy of the first; fourth place for the Roman rider, behind Corser, Checa and Biaggi, at the first corner. Haslam got past him during the first lap but Michel quickly responded by passing not only Haslam but Biaggi too on the next lap, thus moving into third position. By the end of the sixth lap Fabrizio was leading the race but unfortunately this did not last and the aforementioned pair got by once more, leaving Michel to battle against Cal Crutchlow on the Yamaha for third. Roman rider Michel gritted his teeth and a final push ensured he crossed the line in third, happy to be on the Misano podium in front of the Italian crowd. Team-mate Noriyuki, on the other hand, lost a couple of positions at the start and then made a small mistake during the fifth lap which left him in thirteenth place. He gained somewhat during the race and his pace remained constant but he was unable to reach the frontrunners, closing the second race of the day in ninth position.

Noriyuki Haga, having finished both of today's race in the top ten, remains in fifth position in the overall standings with 151 points while Michel Fabrizio, having attained 29 points today, moves up into eighth place. Ducati lies in third position in the manufacturers championship with 250 points.

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 -- 4th , Race 2 - 3rd)
"It was very hard today; in race 1 I couldn't have done any more, I pusher until the end and had to be happy with fourth. In Race 2 we didn't win but we got on the podium which is nevertheless a good result. It wasn't at all easy and once Max got past me there was no way I was going to be able to stick with him; instead I had to do everything to hold on to third, with Crutchlow pushing all the way. I dedicate the podium to my team as my technicians work so hard every week and continue to believe in me. I will continue to give 100% in the next rounds and we hope Brno, a track that's traditionally favoured the two Roman riders, brings me good results."

Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 -- 7th, Race 2 -- 9th)
"In Race 1 the level of grip seemed to improve after the first few laps and I had better feeling but it was difficult to catch Haslam, I was having trouble braking, going into the corners. In the end I got past Haslam to finish seventh but I had hoped to do better. In race 2 I used my other bike, with a similar set up but just a different front fork. Feeling improved but I still wasn't happy with the traction; then I made a couple of small mistakes and, once I lost ground, it was almost impossible to make it back up. I'm hopeful we can do better at Brno, a track I enjoy."

-source: ducati

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Noriyuki Haga , Troy Corser , Michel Fabrizio , Leon Haslam , Sylvain Guintoli , Cal Crutchlow