The Ducati Xerox World Superbike team faced two challenging motorcycle races today at the Monza circuit and at the end of the day riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were satisfied to come away with more valuable points, their best results today being a hard-fought sixth place in Race 2 for Haga and a seventh place finish in Race 1 for his team-mate Fabrizio.
World SBK Race 1: Michel started from third on the grid but lost a few positions in the first laps, as the two Yamahas and Rea’s Honda got past him. When Rea crashed out mid-race, Fabrizio moved temporarily back up into fifth position but was soon passed by Leon Camier (Aprilia RSV4), at an evident advantage on the Aprilia when it comes to top speed.
The Ducati Xerox 1098R rider subsequently held sixth position until the very last corner of the final lap when Xaus on the BMW sneaked past, with Michel crossing the line in seventh position. Teammate Noriyuki meanwhile spent the best part of the race battling with Ducati privateer Luca Scassa and then, in the second half of the race, with Guintoli on the Suzuki.
From sixteenth on the grid, the Japanese rider immediately made up three positions before moving up to eleventh place when Rea fell. Noriyuki held eleventh position for the remainder of the race; although managing to pass Guintoli on two occasions, the Frenchman quickly regained the advantage to take tenth position ahead of Noriyuki.
World SBK Race 2: The race got off to a dramatic start when Toseland, Rea and Xaus crashed out at the first chicane. Michel’s bike, knocked in the ensuing confusion, ran off track, causing Michel to lose a few positions; after this collision Michel suffered from a malfunction with the electronic gear shifter.
Fabrizio tried to ride around the gearing problem but found himself in difficulty and at the start of the second lap he slipped, losing the rear of his 1198, and unable to rejoin the race. Noriyuki meanwhile gained, immediately progressing from sixteenth to seventh position, with Michel just behind him in eighth.
Noriyuki battled for sixth position against Sykes on the Kawasaki for the remainder of the race, unfortunately losing out to the Englishman in the final stages, although a crash for Crutchlow up ahead of them meant that Haga eventually concluded the race in sixth place.
Noriyuki still lies in sixth position in the overall standings with 100 points; Michel is eleventh with 62 points. Ducati remains in third position in the manufacturers classification (149 points) behind Suzuki (181) and Aprilia with 184.
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – DNF) says: "Race 1 was going quite well; it’s only a shame that we don’t have the top speed to be able to stick with the guys on the straight, with more engine power I could have done a lot better."
"In Race 2 I ran off when those guys crashed at the first chicane of the first lap and I tried to keep riding but I couldn’t get the bike into gear, and then I slipped. It was tough out there today but at least we take home some valuable points and hope that things go better at Kyalami."
Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 11th, Race 2 – 6th) say: "In both races I was having a lot of difficulty turning the bike and didn’t have enough grip at the rear. In Race 1 I was having to put it right down on its side to get it to turn as I wanted and this of course meant that I couldn’t keep pace with those ahead of me."
"We changed a few things before Race 2 and improved the situation a little. Grip was good in the first five laps or so but from mid-race it was really hard, as the bike was drifting wide and was hard to control. In the end I’m quite satisfied with sixth position, as it was tough here this weekend."
Filippo Preziosi (General Director, Ducati Corse) says: "I’m sorry for Michel because in Race 1 he did really well considering the disadvantage we have here in terms of power and top speed; he was making up in his riding what was lost in top speed, at a track that penalizes us. I’m happy for Nori because in Race 2, in a difficult situation, both technically and personally, he fought tooth and nail and proved what a champion he is."
WSBK RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Toseland (Yamaha); 3. Crutchlow (Yamaha). Race 2 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Haslam (Suzuki); Corser (BMW)
WSBK Rider Standings: 1. Haslam (Suzuki) 181; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 178; 3. Rea (Honda) 110; 4., Checa (Ducati) 110; 5. Toseland (Yamaha) 106; 6. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 100; 7. Corser (BMW) 92; 8. Camier (Aprilia) 72…. 11. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 62.
WSBK Manufacturers Points: Aprilia 184; Suzuki 181; Ducati 149; Honda 119; Yamaha 113; BMW 95; Kawasaki 37