After a month’s break, World Superbike is ready to restart their engines and return to the racetrack; the next stop for the Ducati Xerox Team is Germany, and the historic Nürburgring.
Noriyuki Haga celebrated podium success last season in Race 1 at the Ring but it was the previous year, 2008, that brought the most satisfaction, with a double win for the Japanese rider at the German track, in spite of his riding with a broken collarbone.
Michel Fabrizio on the other hand is yet to step up to the Ring’s rostrum, his best result so far a sixth place finish in 2008.
Having returned to the SBK calendar in 2008, after an eight year break, the circuit has been characterised by some very unpredictable weather conditions that have delayed and cut short races in the last two seasons.
The historic Ring, located in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, has played host to motorsport events for more than eighty years; this will be the fifth time that the World Superbike circus visits the track.
As the 2010 edition of the championship charges rapidly towards the home straight, with only two rounds left to run after the coming weekend’s German round, Nitro-Nori lies in 7th position while Uragano Mich is 9th in the overall standings. Ducati holds third position in the constructors championship.
Ducati annonced early this week that they’ll be pulling all their factory efforts out of WSBK for 2011.
Noriyuki Haga (7th in championship, 177 points) says: “I had a great time here in 2008, taking a double win despite some terrible conditions that messed up the smooth running of race day, but then last season didn’t go to plan as I started in pole but crashed out of race 2 in a race I was sure I could have won. The problem at the Nürburgring is that no-one can predict the conditions – we’ve seen the sun come out just minutes after a hail shower so mixed conditions like those make it hard to prepare for race day.”
Haga’s Superbike form at the Nürburgring:
2009: Race 1 – 2nd, Race 2 – DNF
2008: Race 1 – winner, Race 2 – winner
1999: Race 1 – DNF, Race 2 – 6th
1998: Race 1 – 5th, Race 2 – 7th
Michel Fabrizio (9th in championship, 160 points) says: “I was disappointed to miss out on the podium at Silverstone so I’ll be trying my best to get there at the Nurburgring. I really like the track but haven’t managed to reach the podium before. The weather is so mixed of course and that can really mess up a weekend if conditions change dramatically each day. Anyway, we’ll be looking to take as many points as possible, and I’ll have my eyes on a top three finish.”
Fabrizio’s Superbike form at the Nürburgring:
2009: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – 9th
2008: Race 1 – 7th, Race 2 – 6th
Name: The Nürburgring
Circuit length: 5.137 km
Pole position: left
Curve a sinistra: 6
Curve a destra: 11
Race distance: 20 laps = 102.74 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Rea (Honda) 1’56.234 (2009). Superpole – Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1’55.471 (2008).
2009 RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Spies (Yamaha); 2. Haga (Ducati Xerox); 3. Checa (Honda) Race 2 – 1. Rea (Honda); 2. Spies (Yamaha); 3. Checa (Honda)