Motorcycle Racing News WSBK: Ducati Practice Report Portimao

WSBK: Ducati Practice Report Portimao

Ducati Report

The second of thirteen World Superbike rounds (and the first European appointment) got underway this afternoon at the Autódromo Internacional de Algarve, and Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio immediately made his mark, when he concluded the first qualifying session of the weekend in second position, sandwiched between Suzuki’s Haslam and Checa on Althea Racing’s privateer Ducati 1198.

Conditions at the Portuguese track were, as expected, significantly better than those faced here by the team during January’s testing sessions and with an air temperature of around 22°C, both Ducati Xerox WSBK riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were able to get straight to work in the early afternoon’s first free practice session.

Neither rider experienced problems and by the end of the 60-minute practice Michel was in eighth position and Noriyuki in eleventh, with many of the top ten riders having projected themselves to the top half of the timesheets by making a single flying lap in the final minutes of the session.

Later in the afternoon, and in similar conditions, the Superbikes were back on track for first qualifying and again positive progress was made by the Ducati Xerox squad. Michel improved his lap times throughout the session before making his fastest lap in the closing minutes, concluding today with a provisional place on the front row of the grid.

Noriyuki meanwhile worked with his technicians to refine the set-up of his Ducati 1198 SBK, and he also completed a mini long-run of eleven laps in which durability of the chosen tyre solution was confirmed as being fairly good.

Michel Fabrizio 1m43.5s

"So today it’s Haslam, me and Checa at the top but the Yamahas of Toseland and Crutchlow seem very strong too, as I’ve said before we have a long season ahead of us! Anyway, I’m fairly happy and haven’t had any real problems today even though I only really made that one fast lap right at the end. We need to continue with the work tomorrow, the important thing is to find good race pace but I’m confident and after today we’re feeling positive I would say."

Noriyuki Haga 1m44.0s

"We’ve got a lot done today and have found a good rear tyre solution, though tomorrow we’ll try a different front tyre and suspension setting. I think if we find better front feeling, that should provide me with better turning, which was the thing that was lacking today; a few of the tighter corners were giving me problems. I also tried a mini long-run and the tyre didn’t seem bad but I need to improve the lap-times, so we’ll be working towards that tomorrow."

Superbike Practice Times

1. Haslam (Suzuki)1m43.4s; 2. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m43.5s 3. Checa (Ducati) 1m43.6s; 4. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1m43.6s; 5. Toseland (Yamaha) 1m43.7s; 6. Crutchlow(Yamaha) 1m43.7s; 7. Byrne (Ducati) 1m43.8s; 8. Smrz (Ducati) 1m43.9s…. 11. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m44.0s

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2022 Indian FTR Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts)

It’s barely 2021, yet the 2022 Indian FTR lineup is here, and there are some significant changes to three of the four variants. In...

2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S First Look (8 Fast Facts)

Just a year after the debut of the Kawasaki KLX230R trail bike, we get our first look at the 2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S. While...

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS First Look (19 Fast Facts)

Forget what you know about any previous Triumph Speed Triple. The 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is an all-new naked upright sportbike ready...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited First Look: Updates, Specs, Photos

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited arrives with two new paint choices, plus a couple of updates in the dash area. There’s a new LED...

MP Magic 37.5 Tech Merino Wool Socks Review (All-Season Footwear)

I’m very picky when it comes to motorcycle socks. For dirt bikes, it’s easy. I always wear Fly Racing Knee Brace socks, as they...

2021 Triumph Tiger 850 Sport Review (13 Fast Facts)

Marketing is a funny thing. Usually, manufacturers exaggerate the displacement in model names—even if only by a little bit. However, in the case of...