The Ducati Xerox Team has had nearly a month to recover since the last round at Donington Park last month, and Noriyuki Haga in particular was in need of the break, after suffering a dramatic crash during the second race of the UK’s only Superbike round in which he fractured the ulna bone in his right forearm and cracked his left scapula in three places. In the last three weeks, since leaving Derby City Hospital, Noriyuki has concentrated on intense physiotherapy sessions in order to be ready to return to the fray this coming weekend. Michel Fabrizio scored a podium finish in the UK but knows he can do better at upcoming Brno.
Former Ducati Xerox rider Troy Bayliss did the double at Brno last year on board the Ducati 1098 while Michel Fabrizio scored his best result of the 2008 season with a second and third place finish. Michel lists the track among his favourites, undoubtedly due to the fact that over the last six races he has finished on the podium five times, although he has still to score a win. The Italian rider also holds the record for the fastest lap, recorded with his Ducati 1098 at the Czech track in last year’s second race. Noriyuki has fared fairly well at Brno over the years and won a race there in 2005.
Last week the Ducati Xerox squad participated in an official two-day test session at Imola circuit, arranged by championship organisers Infront Sports. Noriyuki was of course not riding at the tests, but Michel took part and proved that Imola suits his style by being one of the fastest and easily the most consistent rider over the two days. The team were extremely satisfied and collated valuable data in preparation for September’s Imola race weekend.
Noriyuki Haga (1st in championship, 308 points)
Noriyuki is confident and knows that the Ducati performs at the Czech track, having witnessed Bayliss do the double on the 1098 in 2008.
Noriyuki Haga Speaks…
"After the crash at Donington I’ve been doing a lot of physiotherapy in order to get back into shape as quickly as possible and in time for Brno. It’s a pity I couldn’t take part in the Imola testing as that would have been very useful but it was just too soon and it’s more important to be fit to race. I’m not sure that my arm and shoulder will be 100% by the weekend but I’m confident I’ll be ready for the races and will fight to take as many points as possible."
Haga’s Superbike form at Brno:
2008: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 7th
2007: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 4th
2006: Race 1 – 4th, Race 2 – 3rd
2005: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – winner
Michel Fabrizio (3rd in championship, 257 points)
Taking the results of the last three years into consideration, Michel has performed better and been more consistent at the Automotodrom Brno than any other Superbike rider.
Michel Fabrizio Speaks…
"Brno is probably my favourite track on the calendar, mainly because it’s the circuit where I’ve had most success! Since 2005 I’ve only failed to reach the podium once so that’s not a bad record but I know that this year I have some stiff competition. I will be looking for two more podium finishes, preferably a race win, this weekend as I need to do everything possible to close the gap between me, and Nori and Ben."
Fabrizio’s Superbike form at Brno:
2008: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd
2007: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 3rd
2006: Race 1 – 3rd, Race 2 – 2nd
Country: Czech Republic
Name: Automotodrom Brno
Circuit length: 5.403 km
Pole position: left
Corners left: 6
Corners right: 8
Race distance: 20 laps = 108.060 km
LAP RECORDS: Fastest lap – Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1’59.979 (2008). Superpole – Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1’58.345 (2008).
2008 RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); 2. Corser (Yamaha); 3. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); Race 2 – 1. Bayliss (Ducati Xerox); 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 3. Biaggi (Ducati)