News 31 May 2009

WSBK: Fabrizio lands front row start, Haga ninth for Ducati

Ducati Xerox PR:

Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) this afternoon took part in an entertaining Superpole session at Miller Motorsport park, with the onset of rain mid-way through the session causing extra excitement. Michel remained strong in each of the three mini-Superpole sessions, to snatch a valuable place on tomorrow’s front row, in fourth position. Noriyuki, in pain after a heavy fall this morning, concluded the day in ninth place. Rain started to fall on parts of the track mid-way through the second phase of the Superpole but thankfully was not heavy enough to disrupt the final phase too much.

In the morning’s qualifying both Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga were losing valuable time in the first split. The two riders and their teams made modifications to enable them to improve over that section and in the final minutes of the session, Michel made a big improvement over the first split which allowed him to register the fastest time of the session just a couple of minutes from the end. At exactly the same time Noriyuki was also picking up his pace but pushed perhaps a little too hard and was victim of a high-side. Noriyuki visited the medical centre but was fortunately found to be unhurt apart from a bad bruising to his back; Haga qualified for the subsequent Superpole in eighth position.

Michel Fabrizio 1m49.4s
“In the qualifying this morning I was losing time in the first split, the part of the track I like least and on which we’ve been working since yesterday, but I put this to rights with a fast time in the second phase of the Superpole. It’s just a shame that I then made a small mistake exiting a corner on a fast lap in the third phase which cost me a higher position on the grid, as I’m sure I could have finished second had I not made that error. Anyway starting from the front row is of course not bad and I hope to be able to make two good races as I did here last year.”

Noriyuki Haga 1m49.5s
“Well I’m not a great fan of Saturday mornings at Miller! Last year I broke my collarbone and today I crashed again, perhaps my fault for pushing a little too hard while doing a long-run but fortunately the only consequence is a very sore back, that I hope doesn’t cause me too many problems tomorrow. Anyway, I did my best in Superpole this afternoon; I could have been on the second row but I found traffic on track in the first two sessions and when I was about to go out again at the end of the second phase it started to rain. Tomorrow’s races will be really hard and if Ben, as I’m sure he will, takes off, then I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stick with him but I’ll try my best to take as many points as possible.”