Having already tested World Superbikes at Portimao earlier this year in often wet and wintry conditions, the Ducati Xerox squad now returns to the Algarve once more, for what they hope will prove to be a winning race weekend for both championship contenders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.
Michel Fabrizio is currently second in the championship, and won a WSBK race at Portimao last year.
Michel Fabrizio Quote
"We made a good start to the championship a few weeks ago at Phillip Island and took some good points. It’s a pity I lost out on the Race 1 win but the racing was great fun; it sure was a close finish!"
"I’m in second position in the standings which isn’t bad and now we move to Portimao, another track that I really enjoy racing, and I’ll be looking for race wins; I need to consolidate the strong start that we’ve made because this year will inevitably a very long and hard-fought competition."
For Noriyuki Haga memories of losing the World SBK championship on the Ducati to Ben Spies at the final round of the year at Portimao in 2009 will be the first hurdle to overcome as practice starts on Friday in Portugal.
But he also knows that only a warm-up injury held him back at Phillip island in round one this year, and Portimao will hopefully be more of a level playing field.
Noriyuki Haga Quote
"I had a few problems during the races at Phillip Island as I had crashed that morning in warm-up, hurting my right arm and lower back. The injuries made it hard for me to keep pace with Michel, Checa and Haslam and so I was fairly happy with my results and the points gained."
"Now I’m feeling a lot better and am looking ahead to the coming weekend – I haven’t had the best luck at the track over the last two years, so it’s not my favourite but we hope to score two good results."