The Ducati Xerox World Superbike (SBK) Team and riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio travel home tomorrow having participated in a two-day test session at the Valencia circuit, back to back after last weekend’s Portimao testing.
Yesterday, a combination of very low temperatures and pouring rain unfortunately prevented the Ducati Xerox riders from exiting on track; conditions were just not favourable enough to be of use to the team.
On the third and final day of Superbike testing at the Portuguese track, the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were finally able to get properly to work having been impeded over the last two days by both the heavy rain and, for Michel, influenza.
The asphalt had completely dried out by mid-morning and lap times started to tumble with Noriyuki and Michel able to clock up a decent number of fast laps during the first of the day’s two sessions.
Portimao (Portugal), Saturday 23rd January 2010 – As forecast, the first of today’s Superbike sessions was conditioned by the rain and, although many of the riders took to the track, Ducati Xerox men Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio took the decision, together with their technicians, to sit the session out.
A cooler, overcast day characterised day two of testing at the Portimao circuit as Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio and their technicians continued work where they had left off yesterday.
Over the two days Noriyuki has tested the new clutch and is happy with the initial results, citing it as a good starting point for 2010. He also used the new fork but declared at the end of testing that he prefers his usual one.
Haga Prepares for 2010
Just two days after the final round of the World Superbike Championship 2009 and the Ducati Xerox Team begins testing in preparation for the new season. Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, second and third at the end of this year’s campaign, and both already confirmed with the Ducati Xerox Team for 2010, were back on track this morning with most of the other Superbike team for the first of two days of testing.
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.
Portimao (Portugal), Sunday 25 October 2009: a bittersweet finale for Noriyuki Haga and the Ducati Xerox Team today when they lost the World Superbike riders title by just six points, after the Japanese rider crashed out of Race 1, to then finish on the podium, second, in Race 2. Already winners in the constructors championship, the Ducati factory team fought until the final lap of this last race but unfortunately they couldn’t do enough and it was Yamaha’s Spies who lifted the trophy.
Championship title contender Ben Spies got straight down to business today under a clear blue sky and brilliant Portuguese sunshine, spending both the free practice session and following first qualifying session re-acquainting himself with the Portimao circuit.
The title challengers for the 2009 Superbike World Championship got together for a last-minute meet and greet with national and international media today at the Portimao circuit in Portugal in the run-up to this weekend’s deciding rounds.
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) were given a short welcome to the spectacular Portuguese track by home rider Miguel Praia, whose Parkalgar Honda team is sponsored by the circuit.
Noriyuki Haga Speaks…
Portimao (Portugal) Monday 19th October: the final round of the 2009 Superbike World Championship, taking place this weekend at the Portuguese track of Portimao, will see an all out battle for the title between championship leader, Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga and Yamaha’s Ben Spies.
Magny-Cours (France), Sunday 4th October 2009: this afternoon on the French track of Magny-Cours, Noriyuki Haga took a fantastic Race 2 win on board his Ducati 1198, coming straight after his second place finish in the first race. With these results, Noriyuki regains the championship lead with an advantage of ten points over Spies (Yamaha). At the end of this, the penultimate round, and thanks to today’s two podiums, Ducati celebrates winning its sixteenth Constructors title in the World Superbike Championship.
Magny-Cours (France) Tuesday 29th September: Just two days after the Imola showdown and the Superbike circus is back on the road, travelling this week to France and the "Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours."
The French circuit has looked kindly on Haga over the years and has rewarded him with several race wins since 2004. Last year the Japanese rider secured a race win and a second place finish, after a close battle in Race 2 with then Ducati rider Troy Bayliss.
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.