Suzuki Superbike: Fabrizio Assen Issues

2011 World Superbike

The sole Suzuki rider in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, Michel Fabrizio, hasn’t had too much luck so far this season.

The Team Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 rider finished 6/8 in Phillip Island, DNF/7 in Donington and 5/7 in Assen World Superbike this past weekend.

But the 26-year-old Italian says he may have had some podium finishes if he did better in qualifying; after experiencing issues with his racing line due to another rider, Fabrizio placed the GSX-R1000 on the fourth row in 13th.

But Fabrizio says his qualifying could have been better. During practice, Fabrizio was fourth fastest, but when Superpole 2 arrived, he was following BMW Motorrad Ayrton Badovini, who remained on the racing line while running slow. Fabrizio was forced to slow his speed due to Badovini, slowing his time.

Regardless of a 13th-place start on the grid, Fabrizio battled his way to fifth in Race 1, and seventh in Race 2, in which he had some tire issues. He is now eighth in the championship points with 10 races remaining, 85 points behind the leader Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R).

Michel Fabrizio (Team Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: “It would’ve been so much better if I had not have had the problem in Superpole. I am convinced that if I had been on the first or second row of the grid (Sunday), I would’ve got on the podium for sure – and maybe have even won a race! Generally I am quite pleased with our performance especially considering that I had to start from the fourth row of the grid.

“I didn’t make a good start in the first race, but managed to get into fourth by lap twelve. It had taken some time to get past some of the riders, but I was fairly comfortable in fourth until a few laps from the end. My front tire was already moving about a lot by the time Melandri came past and although I tried to catch him again, the tyre wasn’t up to it, so I had to be satisfied with fifth instead.”

The next race may be kinder to Fabrizio; round 4 will be a home race for the Italian as the 2011 World Superbike Championship heads to Monza, Italy, May 5-7.