News 30 May 2009

WSBK: Haga fairly happy with 11th at Miller, Fabrizio fifth

Ducati Xerox PR:

The Ducati Xerox Team kicked off their quest for Stateside victory today at the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City. With track temperatures in the high forties, factory riders Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga completed the first qualifying session in fifth and eleventh place respectively, after battling against some tough competition that included Biaggi, Spies and Checa. Noriyuki and Michel, currently first and second in the rider classification, both remain optimistic for tomorrow despite one or two small problems suffered throughout today.

Noriyuki, who rode at the Miller circuit with a broken collarbone in 2008, has worked a lot today on the set-up of his Ducati 1198, riding with a full tank and race tyres. His team-mate Michel suffered from a technical problem in the crucial final stages of the qualifying session which prevented him from attaining a provisional place on the front row of the grid.

Michel Fabrizio 1m50.4s
“Towards the end of the session I had a problem with the gear box and I couldn’t put the bike into first so had to use second. Having said that, this is a track that I really like and we seem to be all set for tyres so if it hadn’t been for that set back I’d have been able to lap much faster in the final stages I think. So we hope all goes well tomorrow morning and that I am able to improve my lap times.”

Noriyuki Haga 1m50.7s
“I am fairly happy for the moment. Obviously I was here for the first time last year but with the crash and having to race with a broken collarbone, I remember very little and so today I have got to grips with the track again and I have to say that I’m enjoying riding my 1198 here. In the last part of the qualifying session we tried a harder tyre compound but unfortunately it didn’t allow me to improve my lap times, but despite this, I am feeling comfortable on the bike and we have time tomorrow to make further adjustments and pick up our performance.”

TIMES: 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1m49.8s, 2. Spies (Yamaha) 1m49.9s, 3. Checa (Honda) 1m50.1s, 4. Smrz (Ducati) 1m50.2s, 5. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) 1m50.4s; 6. Hacking (Kawasaki) 1m50.4s, 7. Byrne (Ducati) 1m50.5s, 8. Kagayama (Suzuki) 1m50.5s….  11. Haga (Ducati Xerox) 1m50.7s