Ducati Looks To Regain Ground at Monza
Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga had differing fortunes in their recent World Superbike test at Misano, with Fabrizio setting fast times on race and qualifying tyres for two days, but Haga suffering from a debilitating fever.
Ducati staff concentrated their efforts on modifications to the 1198 race bikes in order to improve feeling and refine set-ups in preparation for the next road race at Monza, the weekend of 7th to 9th May.
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.
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 an unofficial time of 1’35.7 with the race tyre, followed by a 1’35.2 on a qualifier, while Noriyuki, unwell, registered a best time yesterday of 1m36.6 on a race tyre.
Ernesto Marinelli (Ducati World SBK Team Manager) says: "We’re going through a very difficult phase, perhaps the most difficult that I remember, but the important thing is to react and never give up, and in this respect the whole team is very strong."
"This test has been very important and the problems regarding lack of feeling – the hardest kind to fix – that both riders were citing at Assen, seem to have been resolved or at least greatly reduced. It’s a pity that Noriyuki was affected by the flu, but Michel’s solid test is certainly an important base from which to start at Monza, where we’ll give 200%."