World SBK: Fabrizio Joins Alstare Suzuki
2011 World Superbike
Many thought he would abandon the World Superbike Championship altogether after Ducati pulled all factory efforts for 2011, but Michel Fabrizio has signed a one-year deal with Alstare Suzuki, the team announced Wednesday.
The Alstare Suzuki team, which consisted of Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli for 2010, will be down to one rider next year with Fabrizio aboard the sole-Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000. The team was cut down to one rider due to Suzuki pulling some money from its WSBK efforts.
Fabrizio had nothing in the works for a few weeks after Ducati said they were abandoning the WSBK Championship. This left Fabrizio and his partner, Noriyuki Haga, without a ride for 2011. But Haga was picked up by the all-new Pata Racing Aprilia team, and now Fabrizio has joined Alstare Suzuki.
As for the 2010 lineup, Haslam has joined the BMW Motorrad team to race the S1000RR, and will be competing with Troy Corser in 2011. The Frenchman Guintoli has joined the privateer team Liberty Ducati alongside Jakub Smrz.
Suzuki and the Italian Fabrizio have much experience together; they took the 2003 European Superstock Championship. To date, Fabrizio has four-career wins in World SBK, and is happy to return to inline four power over the Ducati V-Twin on the 1198. Fabrizio recently tested with Suzuki in France, and is happy with the positive results.
Michele Fabrizio says: "I am very happy with how the tests went at Magny-Cours last week, even though the weather was not so good on the first day. I am a bit surprised how easily I got used to the Suzuki Alstare bike after three years of riding a twin."
"A twin requires a completely different style to a four, so to jump onto a four and get comfortable so soon is a very good sign. Having known the team from before obviously helped and soon I felt as if I had never been away. My first impressions of the bike are that it feels strong and can be a title contender."
"Leon showed that this year, so I am looking forward to more tests and then racing it. This championship is very hard and competitive and you have to be on your game all the time. But, I know I have a good team behind me and I think we can have a very good season next year."