Ducati Xerox: Superbike Kyalami Mixed Bag
Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio was celebrating with his squad this afternoon after dominating a spectacular Race 1 to take his first victory of the 2010 season, at the South African track of Kyalami. Michel Fabrizio made a perfect start to Race 1, moving straight into the lead by getting past Crutchlow, Toseland and Checa right off the line.
The Italian rider quickly extended his lead over Checa (on Althea Racing’s 1198) and maintained a constant one second advantage for the entire duration of the race.
Lap times inevitably began to increase during the final stages of the 24-lap race but nonetheless Michel carefully managed his advantage and crossed the line first, to take his first race win of the 2010 season, just over a second ahead of the Spaniard.
Noriyuki had a more difficult race, struggling with a lack of grip. Although he made up a few positions straight off the start line, progressing from sixteenth to twelfth, after about ten laps the lack of rear grip began to affect his lap times which consequently caused him to lose over the final laps the positions he had previously gained; the Japanese rider therefore closed Race 1 in seventeenth position.
Michel made a less impressive start to Race 2 but his reactions were quick and he made up over the course of the first lap the positions he had lost off the line. For the first eight laps he remained in fourth position, just behind Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Max Biaggi who battled it out among themselves up ahead.
Unfortunately however, an unexpected loss of grip subsequently prevented the Italian rider from pushing and, in increasing difficulty in the final stages of the race, he eventually concluded the race in eighth place. Noriyuki meanwhile had a better race, lapping consistently fast, with lap times in the final stages that matched those of the podium placed riders.
Although he continued to improve, there was too much to make up from sixteenth on the grid, and the Japanese rider had to be satisfied with tenth place.
Despite two difficult races, Noriyuki Haga still holds on to sixth position in the overall standings (106 points) while Michel Fabrizio, thanks to today’s win, has started to close the gap; now eighth with 95 points. Ducati remains in third position in the manufacturers championship with 185 points to Aprilia’s 213 and Suzuki’s 222.
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – winner , Race 2 – 8th) says: "I’m really happy with the win in the first race, happy for Ducati of course but above all happy for myself. I really needed a result like this after several difficult race. It wasn’t easy however, I had to make an intelligent race, doing all I could to maintain the second of advantage that I had over Carlos. It was a great race but also a very tiring one! Race 2 went very differently; the level of grip immediately began to drop after only three or four laps and it became impossible to catch the leading group that continued to gain on me. Anyway with the points taken in race 1 today I’ve gained a position in the overall standings and now I’ll turn my attention to the next event at Salt Lake, a track I really like."
Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 17th , Race 2 – 10th) says: "In Race 1 after about ten laps the performance of the rear tyre dropped dramatically. There wasn’t much I could to improve. I’m disappointed of course because with no grip you don’t really get anywhere. In the second race, having made some small changes to my bike but deciding to go with the same tyre, I had a better overall feeling and, from more or less mid-race, unlike race 1, I was able to push increasingly hard. The problem was that those ahead of me had already built a significant lead; I needed a few more laps to be able to catch some of them."
RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox); 2. Checa (Ducati); 3. Haslam (Suzuki). Race 2 – Haslam (Suzuki), 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Biaggi (Aprilia)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders – 1. Haslam (Suzuki) 222; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 207; 3. Rea (Honda) 141; 4. Checa (Ducati) 141; 5. Toseland (Yamaha) 125; 6. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 106; 7. Corser (BMW) 105; 8. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 95
Manufacturers – Suzuki 222; Aprilia 213 ; Ducati 185; Honda 150; Yamaha 135; BMW 108; Kawasaki 39