Monza: Ducati Saturday report

FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) SECURES FRONT ROW START FOR TOMORROW'S RACES AT MONZA Monza (Italy), Saturday 8th May: Michel Fabrizio and his team worked hard today and were rewarded with a front row place on tomorrow's grid at the Autodromo Nazionale...

FABRIZIO (DUCATI XEROX) SECURES FRONT ROW START FOR TOMORROW'S RACES AT MONZA

Monza (Italy), Saturday 8th May: Michel Fabrizio and his team worked hard today and were rewarded with a front row place on tomorrow's grid at the Autodromo Nazionale of Monza; Michel will line up in third position, the spot that he had already provisionally secured yesterday.

This morning's second qualifying proved to be an extremely successful session for Michel Fabrizio, on board his 1198. Despite an initially damp track, with conditions very similar to yesterday, times began to drop later in the session and, after substituting used slicks with new ones, the Italian rider was able to push hard, recording an impressive 1'43.737 on his penultimate lap to take overall first position at the end of qualifying, three tenths of a second faster than Rea (Honda) in second. By the close of the session, Noriyuki had also made progress, improving on yesterdays qualifying time by almost a second and a half, to qualify in overall twelfth position for the afternoon's Superpole.

In the early afternoon's final free practice session, times improved once again and Michel impressed once more, ducking under the 1'43 barrier to make two very fast laps right at the end of the session, recording the fastest overall time of this practice session at the very last minute (1'42.6). Noriyuki continued to lose valuable tenths, particularly through the first sector of track, and closed in fourteenth.

Superpole 1 -- both Fabrizio and Haga made two exits during the fourteen-minute session. Michel chose not to use a qualifier in this first phase and closed in a solid eighth place, assuring himself of passage to the next phase. Noriyuki ,on the other hand, made his second exit with the qualifier and, like Michel, finished inside the top sixteen, in fourteenth position.

Superpole 2 -- Noriyuki's technicians provided him with a new qualifier for this session but unfortunately the Japanese rider did not find the grip necessary to make a fast lap and thus concluded today's Superpole in sixteenth position, equating to the fourth row of tomorrow's grid. Michel, also on a "Q", had more success and recorded a 1'42.7, enough to finish in second place, and progressing comfortably to the final phase.

Superpole 3 -- Michel made two fast laps, the second of which temporarily propelled him into pole position, but was subsequently beaten by Biaggi and Crutchlow in the final minute of this last phase, meaning an eventual third place finish for the Ducati Xerox rider. He will therefore line up on the front row of the grid in tomorrow's races, in the position that he had provisionally secured already yesterday.

Michel Fabrizio
"Today's result is the best response to the gossip that was circulating in the paddock yesterday. Within the team we are working well together, are united, and together will be protagonists once more. I'm of course very happy with today's results. We needed to get back on track with a result like this, after three rounds in which I've not really been present, at least not at the front where I think the factory riders should be! I'm also pleased that, after successful tests at Misano last week, we are doing well -- so far -- in front of the Italian crowd. It's the first of the "home" races and so of course Ducati and myself would love to take two great race results here."

Noriyuki Haga
"This morning conditions were pretty much the same as yesterday and I was finding it difficult, especially through the first part of the track.Then in the Superpole I found that I had better grip on the race tyre than with the qualifier. I was lacking grip at the rear and, though I pushed as hard as I can, it was impossible to make a very fast lap. I'm fairly happy with the race set-up but it's going to be another tough race day."

-source: ducati

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Series World Superbike
Drivers Noriyuki Haga , Michel Fabrizio