Just a few days before the 2010 Superbike season officially gets going with testing at Portimao from 22nd January, the Ducati Xerox Team confirms that it has undergone some significant internal reorganization.
With Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio both back on board their Ducati 1198s for 2010, a series of structural changes within Ducati have allowed for a certain degree of reorganization within the Ducati Xerox team.
Noriyuki Haga lost the World Superbike title by just six points to the American Ben Spies. And if his teammate, Michel Fabrizio, would have given up his position in Race 2 to Haga, Haga would have lost the championship by only one point. Haga’s talent has never been questioned and he has worked so brilliantly to improve his image and work ethic after the doping charge lost him the title a few years back. A true modern day Shakespearean tragedy.
Nori Haga entered the final race weekend with the points lead over Ben Spies despite Ben’s all-time Superpole record and fast pace all season long.
The Ducati Xerox squad headed to the Mugello circuit for two days of testing, yesterday and today, sharing the track with the Ducati MotoGP Test Team, before moving straight on to Imola for this weekend’s World Superbike event. Michel Fabrizio was out on track yesterday and in favourable conditions he was able to make 67 laps on board the Ducati 1198.
Today it was Noriyuki Haga’s turn and under sunny skies (with a track temperature around 35°C) the Japanese rider also had a constructive day.
Nurburgring (Germany) Friday 4th September: The German Superbike race weekend got off to a damp start with both the free practice and first qualifying sessions characterised by grey skies and a persistent rain, with temperatures in the region of 12-14°C. The Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio have both returned from the summer break more determined than ever in a championship that is still wide open and so, despite the adverse conditions, they didn’t waste any time in getting back to grips with their Ducati 1198 machines.
Brno (Czech Republic) Saturday 25th July: it was a hard-fought Superpole for the World Superbike riders this afternoon on the Brno racetrack and, having been fast in all of the sessions so far, Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio continued to be a protagonist in today’s spectacle, pushing hard with his Ducati 1198 throughout the three mini-Superpole sessions to secure himself a front row position, second, on tomorrow’s grid.
In this morning’s second qualifying session, and on a cooler track (25°C), the Ducati Xerox riders continued to fight, Michel Fabrizio in close competition against the o
Donington Park (UK), Saturday 28th June: today was once again conditioned by the British weather and unfortunately the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio had to complete the final phase of today’s Superpole under a light rain.
Donington Park (UK), Friday 26th June: just as he did a week ago at Misano, Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio was once again the fastest rider in first qualifying, this time at Donington Park.
Very mixed conditions throughout the day meant that the Ducati Xerox squad, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, rode their Ducati 1198s both in the dry (in free practice) and in the wet.
Misano Adriatico (Italy), Saturday 20th June: the crowds were witness to an exciting and super-fast Superpole today at the Misano World Circuit. The Ducati Xerox Team is satisfied with the results of its riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga who, on board their factory Ducati 1198 machines, will line up in fourth and sixth position respectively on tomorrow’s grid.
WSBK Motorcycle Racing in Utah
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) annihilated the opposition in the Utah US Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, picking up his second double win of the year in his rookie SBK season. In front of 47,300 spectators the Texan again reopened the title battle in a championship that following Kyalami appeared to be firmly in the hands of Ducati.
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Curva Sito Pons at Jerez, Spain is one of life’s immensely satisfying corners—if you get it right. It is a long, sweeping uphill right-hander taken fast in third gear, and leads onto the back straight. I cut the Ducati 1098R in wide and stayed on a neutral throttle. You can not see the exit until you have crested the hill, but this was my third session, so I knew precisely where it was. The bike held its line perfectly; I aimed for the inside paint stripe and, as my knee-slider grazed the apex, I hamfistedly cracked hard on the throttle.