FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AHEAD OF TOMORROW'S RACES AT VALENCIA Valencia (Spain), Saturday 10th April: At the end of an extremely hard-fought Superpole, in which riders were separated my mere thousandths of a second, Ducati...
FABRIZIO AND HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) CONFIDENT AHEAD OF TOMORROW'S RACES AT VALENCIA
Valencia (Spain), Saturday 10th April: At the end of an extremely hard-fought Superpole, in which riders were separated my mere thousandths of a second, Ducati Xerox riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga secured places on the third row of tomorrow's grid, Michel in tenth and Nori in eleventh.
This morning's second qualifying took place on a cooler track with respect to yesterday afternoon's first session, and both Michel and Noriyuki were able to drop their times by about half a second each. By the end of the session every Superbike rider, except Carlos Checa, had improved on their best time set yesterday and the first eleven riders closed within two tenths of a second of each other, highlighting just how close the competition is this season. The two Ducati Xerox riders both picked up their pace towards the end of the 45-minute session to close the morning in fifth (Michel) and sixth (Nori) position, which converted to sixth and seventh respectively in the combined qualifying timesheets.
In the Superpole both Haga and Fabrizio made a first exit on a race tyre but seeing as the first eleven riders were within half a second of each other the two Ducati Xerox riders needed to make a second exit, both choosing to use a qualifier. In the final minutes it became clearer as to the final outcome and Nori's technicians recalled him to the garage, realizing there was no need to make further laps. Michel, more at risk, made a flying lap and concluded the first Superpole phase with the fastest time. For the second phase, both riders continued with the used qualifiers from the previous session but, needing to further improve their respective times, both therefore made a second exit, on new qualifiers, and registered fast times, Michel 1'34.0 and Haga 1'34.1 despite a problem with his seat. Unfortunately both riders were pushed out of the first eight by about a tenth of a second and the Ducati Xerox pair will therefore line up on the third row of the grid tomorrow, with Michel in tenth position and Noriyuki in eleventh.
"It feels like we're on the limit and today I found it very hard to make fast lap times. The important thing I guess is that we have a good race pace, this morning I was able to make quite a few laps with consistently fast times. Of course this is not the result I hoped for from Superpole, also because starting from the third row at this particular track will be far from easy. We're all so close this weekend, separated by just a couple of tenths of a second, so tomorrow I know it'll be hard but I'll try my best."
"In today's Superpole the first qualifier didn't help me too much. The second was much better but while making a fast lap with that tyre, I had a problem with my seat which was moving around so it was hard to concentrate and I finished the second Superpole session one tenth of a second too slow. Anyway, we have a good race pace so tomorrow we just have to see how the races go. I'm fairly confident as we have a good race package, having also made a nice long run yesterday. Of course I need to make a strong start but I'm fairly sure I can do that."