Ducati Xerox has a Need for Speed

WSBK Report

Warm conditions at the Misano World Circuit allowed the Ducati Xerox squad to carry out two day’s worth of World Superbike work on track today and yesterday, with positive results.

Despite battling against flu and a high fever, Noriyuki Haga rode alongside his teammate Michel Fabrizio yesterday and both demonstrated a fast pace.

On track together with the Aprilia, BMW and Yamana factory teams, the two Ducati Xerox motorcycle racers and their technicians concentrated above all on making modifications to the 1198 bikes in order to improve feeling and refine set-ups in preparation for the next race at Monza, the weekend of 7th to 9th May.

Today Noriyuki’s physical condition unfortunately worsened and after making two exits in the late morning, during which it was evident that his weakness was preventing him from pushing, the Japanese rider decided to finish up early, at lunchtime.

Work continued for Michel however, and he spent the afternoon working on race pace and testing some different settings dedicated to the qualifying tyres, to better prepare for the Superpole sessions.

Michel Fabrizio says: "We’ve worked really hard, my best time of 1m35.2 on a qualifier was good but I’m more satisfied with the 1m35.7 that I set on a race tyre and the fact I was able to lap consistently fast. My technicians made various changes to the suspension settings of my 1198 and I didn’t have any real problems. At Monza we absolutely must do well, we need to make good points in order to make up lost ground. We’ll see."

Noriyuki Haga says: "Yesterday everything was going well, lap times were better than they were during last year’s racing, but of course track temperatures were lower too of course which helped. The feeling I had with the tyres was good and we also identified a better suspension setting, as well as trying some engine settings too. Now we have to see how those solutions work at Monza. Everyone knows that Monza has many long straights where we have difficulty with top speed but I plan to open the gas and give it my all."

At the end of the tests, the team returned home satisfied with the work achieved. Michel made more than 150 laps over the two days, recording a great (unofficial) time of 1m35.7 with the race tyre, followed by a 1m35.2 on a qualifier, while Noriyuki, unwell, registered a best time yesterday of 1m36.6 on a race tire.

World Superbike Championship Point Standing (after 4 rounds of 13): 1. Haslam 148; 2. Biaggi 128; 3. Rea 110; 4. Checa 103; 5. Toseland 86; 6. Haga 85; 7. Corser 68; 8. Guintoli 55; 9. Fabrizio 53; 10. Crutchlow 49

World SBK Manufacturers Point Standing: 1. Suzuki 148; 2. Aprilia 134; 3. Ducati 130; 4. Honda 111; 5. Yamaha 93; 6. BMW 69; 7. Kawasaki 19