SECOND AND FOURTH ROW START FOR FABRIZIO AND HAGA IN TOMORROW'S RACES AT PHILLIP ISLAND Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 28th February: Ducati Xerox riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga participated in the restyled Superpole for the very...
SECOND AND FOURTH ROW START FOR FABRIZIO AND HAGA IN TOMORROW'S RACES AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Phillip Island (Australia), Saturday 28th February: Ducati Xerox riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga participated in the restyled Superpole for the very first time this afternoon at Phillip Island. The knock-out format sees three twelve-minute sessions in which 20 riders are reduced to 16 and then to 8 before the final 8 play for the places on the front two rows of the grid. Noriyuki progressed to the second session in which he recorded the thirteenth fastest time, thus establishing his place on the fourth row. Team-mate Michel proceeded on to the final session, to achieve fifth place on tomorrow's grid.
During second qualifying in the morning, the fastest twenty riders, all of whom thus progressed to Superpole, were all within a second of each other, emphasising just how close a battle the 2009 Superbike championship is going to prove to be! Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki and Michel finished in fourth and sixth place in the morning, to qualify comfortable for all three Superpole sessions. Both riders have proved fast all weekend and are satisfied that they are on the pace for tomorrow's races.
The Superpole trophies were presented this afternoon by reigning World Superbike World Champion Troy Bayliss, who took both the Rider's and Constructor's titles with the Ducati Xerox Team in 2008.
Michel Fabrizio 1m31.8s
"I hoped to be able to go faster in the third Superpole but unfortunately, again due to tyre-wear, it was not an achievable goal. I can however be satisfied that we have the necessary race pace even if I wont be starting from the front row as I wished. We have worked hard all weekend and I have been consistently fast up until now so I am still confident for tomorrow's races."
Noriyuki Haga 1m31.9s
"Unfortunately the new Superpole proved a little difficult for us, and perhaps we didn't have the right tactics today. This new format means teams have to have tactics and there is more of a gamble. I would have liked to be faster of course and apologise to the fans that I won't be further forward on the grid but anyway, at least I don't go into tomorrow under great pressure, as I would have been if I had made pole! I am already thinking about my game plan for the races. We know we have been fast in all the sessions so far, we are comfortable with the race setting and we have pretty much decided with regard to the tyre to use for tomorrow's races. I will give 500% and I will go out there and do my best!"