News 23 Jan 2010

WSBK: Ducati Xerox's Haga and Fabrizio work at Portimao


The 2010 World Superbike season officially got underway today with the start of a three-day test session at Portimao. Most of the riders signed up for the new season were present at the Portuguese circuit, and the Ducati Xerox team and riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio were very enthusiastic about getting back on board their Ducati 1198 machines after the winter break. The squad, at the track in its new formation for the first time, were equally eager to get back to work.

In the morning, and in ambient conditions (air temperature of 17°C, track 21°C), both Nori and Michel were straight out on track and, working with last year’s post-race test settings as a starting point, made constant improvements during the two-hour session. Unfortunately for Michel, a virus that had already made its presence felt in the last couple of days took hold and he was taken sick towards the end.

In the early afternoon, Michel felt well enough to go back on track but the undulating track surface only exasperated his nausea and so the team was unable to complete all of what was planned for today, cutting Michel’s afternoon session slightly short in the hope that he will have chance to recuperate before tomorrow. Noriyuki meanwhile had a very productive day and worked with his team to improve settings, both suspension and mapping, concluding today’s testing with the seventh fastest time overall, with Michel just behind him in eighth.

Noriyuki Haga
“We have made a positive start today and I’m definitely feeling better than I did the last time I was here! We have made various modifications to suspension and mapping settings throughout the day and we will continue to work on those areas tomorrow. Rain is forecast for tomorrow I think so we will see how that affects things. I’m getting on very well with my “new look” team and feel very much at ease; it’s very easy to communicate with Luca, my race engineer. So I am feeling fairly confident and hope we can move forward over the weekend.”

Michel Fabrizio
“It’s a shame I don’t feel totally in shape today but there’s nothing we can do about it. I did my best throughout this morning and managed to make some improvement, but I just felt more and more sick during the afternoon, this is a particularly undulating track which doesn’t help matters. Anyway the Clinica Mobile are helping me, and I hope to be in better shape tomorrow in order to have two much more productive days tomorrow and Sunday.”