The Ducati Xerox Team has been on track at the Mugello circuit yesterday and this morning, as guests of the Ducati MotoGP Team, to carry out two days of testing and to verify at the same time the physical condition of Noriyuki Haga, two months after the incident at Donington Park in which the Japanese rider fractured both his right ulna and left scapula. After the six-week long summer break, during which time he continued with a combination of physiotherapy and training, Nitro-Nori got back on his Ducati 1198 yesterday and although his shoulder injury caused him some discomfort at the start, he was able to ride much more comfortably today and the team is therefore feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s race.
Under clear skies Noriyuki and his squad worked on different set-ups and made adjustments regarding forks and shocks, making about 90 laps in total during the two-day test, with positive results and encouraging lap times. Engineer Ernesto Marinelli, technical director of the Superbike project, declared himself satisfied with the work completed, having identified two promising directions to try out this coming weekend at the Nürburgring.
Yesterday Michel Fabrizio was also on track and he also is back in shape after suffering muscle damage in practice during his recent MotoGP outing at Brno, a problem that fortunately seems to have resolved itself.
The Ducati Xerox Team departs tomorrow for Germany and this weekend’s Nürburgring round. At this point the two Ducati Xerox riders declare themselves to be fit and ready for the season’s crescendo. After ten of fourteen Superbike rounds held so far, Noriyuki continues to lead the championship with 326 points while Michel occupies third place in the overall standings, holding 273 points.