WSBK Test: Fabrizio Optimistic on GSX-R

2011 World Superbike

Due to poor weather at the first official test of the 2011 World Superbike season at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal, Suzuki Alstare and the WSBK team’s sole rider Michel Fabrizio didn’t get too much work completed.

But regardless, Fabrizio says he’s upbeat about the upcoming 2011 WSBK season, feeling comfortable on the GSX-R1000. 

Fabrizio set his fastest time aboard the Suzui GSX-R1000 on the opening day of testing (Wednesday). The Portimao track never completely dried during the remaining two days of Superbike testing, not allowing teams to experiement much with chassis setup or electronics.

The newly-signed Fabrizio started the tests with his GSX-R1000 on similar settings to the previous tests in November. and he and the team continued to work on getting a good feeling with the bike before pushing hard, Suzuki Alstare reported.

In difficult conditions, and on the final day, Fabrizio was second quickest, but ended seventh fastest overall due to the times set on day one.

Jakub Smrz (Ducati) put in a lap of 1:43.503 on day one – a time that remained unbeaten. Second quickest was Jonathan Rea (Honda) with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) third and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) fourth.

Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki Superbike) says: "Generally I am very happy how the tests have gone, though obviously I am disappointed with the weather throughout the three days. This area is supposed to be the sunniest part of Europe, but we’ve seen a lot of rain and cloud.

"When conditions are so bad for so much of the time, it is very difficult to get through all the work that has to be done. I think my team has done a very good job these three days in conditions that changed so many times and also very quickly.

"I may have only ended seventh on the timesheets, but I was only three-tenths-of-a-second behind the fastest guy, and so I feel very positive about these tests. I had two crashes on the second day: Both were high sides, but I managed to escape without any injury; though it made extra work for my mechanics and for that, I am sorry.

"At the moment, I think that the engine is ok and we have been working a lot on the suspension and set-up of the bike. I am still learning this bike; after years on a twin and the characteristics are very different. The Suzuki is very nimble in the turns, but getting out of them quickly is where we suffer a little. So, that’s another area that we are working on. I think if we can progress in that area, we’ll be very happy.

"We’ve got two tests before the first race in Phillip Island and it’s very important that we arrive at the first race in the best possible condition. I like Phillip Island a lot because it is a fantastic track to race on and the whole setting and ambiance is great.

"It is a great shame that we were unable to get more work done here, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Considering that, I have not been on a race bike since November but I am happy with what we managed to achieve and feel upbeat about the next tests and race one. Let’s hope for good weather though!"

2011 World Superbike Portimao Overall Test Results (3-days): 1 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 99 laps, 1:43.503, 2 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda) 75 laps, 1:43.676, 3 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha) 83 laps, 1:43.707, 4 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki) 106 laps, 1:43.770, 5 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati) 86 laps, 1:43.789. 6 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia) 46 laps, 1:43.840, 7 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) 113 laps, 1:43.879, 8 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati) 92 laps, 1:44.369, 9 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia) 74 laps, 1:44.446, 10 Joan Lascorz (ESP-Kawasaki) 77 laps, 1:44,752, 11 James Toseland (GBR-BMW) 91 laps, 1:44.764, 12 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia) 100 laps, 1:44.857, 13 Ruben Xaus (ESP-Honda) 1:44.885, 14 Maxime Berger (FRA-Ducati) 126 laps, 1:44.886, 15 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha) 82 laps, 1:45.461, 16 Ayrton Badovini (ITA-BMW) 95 laps, 1:45.678.

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