Imola (Italy), Thursday 16 July: Michel Fabrizio and his Ducati Xerox squad concluded official testing at the international Imola circuit today and the Roman rider again dominated proceedings until the final minutes when Honda man Rea went out on a qualifier, improving on Michel’s fastest time by two tenths of a second. The Ducati Xerox Team are nonetheless extremely satisfied with the amount of work carried out in such extreme weather conditions.In the first hour of the morning session, when the track was cooler (36°C), Michel concentrated on testing the various new tyre compounds that Pirelli brought for the Superbike teams to try. He was immediately fast with every solution and remained very consistent throughout the session, putting together a whole string of laps, fifteen of which he completed in under 1m50. While testing the final tyre of the morning, Michel became the only rider to duck under 1m49, recording a flying lap of 1m48.9s. Lanzi (Ducati), Rea (Honda), and Spies (Yamaha), the next fastest guys on track this morning, were all four tenths of a second off Michel’s pace.
In the early afternoon, and on a significantly hotter tarmac (60°C ), it was almost impossible to improve on the times set earlier this morning; in fact, of the ten fastest riders, only Fabrizio and Rea managed to improve on their morning times, both lapping in under 1m49 but on a qualifying tyre. Fabrizio completed a total of 65 laps today, and he and his technicians have collated valuable data in preparation for the Imola race at the end of September.Michel Fabrizio Speaks…"Both today and yesterday we have worked really well, despite the excessive heat. All in all, I am very happy with what we’ve achieved here. As planned, today we did a good test of the three new Pirelli tyres and all seemed to perform well, even with these extreme conditions. In the afternoon we made some set-up changes, particularly testing a different fork, but unfortunately it didn’t give me a particularly good feeling and so we went back to that which I’ve always used. I’m happy that I was one of the fastest here this week and now I have to replicate this performance each race weekend from now on! I leave here feeling really confident ahead of Brno and am also looking forward to returning to Imola in September."TIMES (Day 2): 1. Rea (Honda) 1m48.6s; 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m48.8s; 3. Lanzi (Ducati) 1m49.3s; 4. Spies (Yamaha) 1m49.3s; 5. Sykes (Yamaha) 1m49.4s; 6. Hopkins (Honda) 1m49.4s; 7. Xaus (BMW) 1m49.4s; 8. Haslam (Honda) 1m49.5s