SOLID TOP 5 FINISHES FOR FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) IN FIRST QUALIFYING AT PHILLIP ISLAND Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 26th February : The World Superbike Championship officially got underway at Phillip Island today and, for ...
SOLID TOP 5 FINISHES FOR FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) IN FIRST QUALIFYING AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Phillip Island (Australia), Friday 26th February : The World Superbike Championship officially got underway at Phillip Island today and, for the Ducati Xerox team and riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, results of the first qualifying session were very positive, Fabrizio propelling himself to second place on the timesheets and Haga concluding in fifth.
After the very encouraging results of the recent tests held here last weekend, Michel closing fastest and Noriyuki in sixth, the team returned to work today in a motivated and enthusiastic frame of mind.
In the early afternoon the Superbike riders took to the tracks for the first free practice session. Faced with hotter track temperatures (circa 450x00b0C) compared to those of last week's test, both Noriyuki and Michel continued to work on the set-up of their Ducati 1198 machines. Both riders concentrated on tyre durability, trying to find the best set-up on used tyres. Michel was victim of a crash mid-session caused by an unexpected lack of grip at the front on entry into a corner, the asphalt was extremely slippery due to the heat. Having lost valuable time, the Italian rider exited on his second bike but was unfortunately unable to record a very fast lap, closing the session in 11th. Noriyuki made his fastest lap near the start of the session, closing in seventh place, but confident.
Later on, in the first qualifying session, the two factory riders significantly improved on their times , lapping consistently fast and towards the end of the session, on soft compounds, they both registered times that left them both happy and in the top five. Noteworthy performances also came from Carlos Checa and Shane "Shakey" Byrne (Althea Racing), they too riding the 1198, who finished the session in first and fourth placed respectively.
Michel Fabrizio 1m32.1s
"We tried different tyre solutions this morning and various setting solutions in agreement with my engineer. I had a fall, losing the front, but without causing myself, or my bike, too much damage fortunately. Then in the qualifying session we found a good direction with the tyre solution that may well be the one to choose for the race; the results were quite encouraging. During my fast lap I lost a couple of tenths through the last corner but I'm happy; we've worked well and I'm satisfied with the results. We have a good race pace but a lot will depend on Sunday's weather."
Noriyuki Haga 1m32.7s
"We've tested the different rear tyres that Pirelli make available to us this weekend but we are still undecided as to which will have the best durability in these hot conditions. Tomorrow we'll try a different solution for the setting but overall I'm happy. The lap times have been consistent but today was very hot and although I felt I could have pushed a little more, I didn't want to risk it, also because I saw that several riders crashed."