Michel Fabrizio is proving that he’s a force to be reckoned with in World Superbike this year. The Ducati Xerox rider is currently third in the Championship Point standings.
Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio is proving that his status as one of the best riders in World Superbike isn’t just a fluke as Super Fab was the fastest man today in Donington’s first qualifying session. The Italian rider was the only rider to lap under 1’31, with a day’s best of 1’30.775. Fabrizio trails Ben Spies for second place in the point standings by seven points and would love to reverse that situation this weekend.
“It hasn’t gone at all badly. In the practice I had a few problems with my right arm, maybe because it hadn’t had time to recover from Misano, but it felt a lot better in qualifying. A few minutes before that session the rain came and it’s clear that in the wet we’re not yet where we should be. Thankfully the track dried out very fast and so in the last part of the session I was really able to push and record some fast laps,” Fabrizio said.
Stiggy Racing Honda’s Leon Haslam was the top finisher among the British hopefuls after lapping second-fastest. Yamaha World Superbike rider Spies came in third-fastest, 0.103-seconds behind Haslam. Spies looked good in the early session but couldn’t improve on his early lap times. Guandalini Ducati’s
Guandalini Ducati’s Gregorio Lavilla used his knowledge of the Donington circuit to his advantage, racing to the fourth-fastest lap of the day.
Gregorio Lavilla used his stint in the British Superbike series and his familiarity with the British circuit to his advantage, riding to the fourth-fastest time of the qualifying session.
Steriligarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne posted the fifth-best time of the afternoon. Byrne shook off a crash early in the session to grab the final spot in the top five.
World Superbike Championship Points leader Noriyuki Haga struggled on the Ducati 1198 most of the day and finished back in 10th.
“Today wasn’t so easy for us. It’s the first time I am riding the Ducati 1198 here and I feel I need more track time. We tried some different settings because I’m having trouble through the fast corners, especially in the second split, where it seems that I can’t open the gas because the bike’s not reacting as it should,” Haga said.
The Aprilia team didn’t fare any better. Max Biaggi could only muster a 13th-fastest time for the Aprilia RSV4 Factory squad. The BMWs were even further back, with Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser lapping back in the 17th and 20th positions.
AMA Superbike rider Blake Young, competing for the Alstare Suzuki team, finished way back of the pack in 28th.
“There is a lot for me to learn in a very short time, but I am really enjoying myself here. This bike is completely different to the Suzuki I ride in the States and has a lot more electronics on it. The wheels are a different size (16.5), the tires are different; and I also have to figure out which way round the track goes at the same time! I just need time on the bike and it is important for me to put in as many laps as possible so I can get used to it and go faster,” Young said.
World Superbike Donington Qualifying –
1. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’30.775
2. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.191
3. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’31.294
4. Lavilla G. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1’31.401
5. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’31.436
6. Camier L. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’31.454
7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’31.584
8. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’31.705
9. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’31.736
10. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’31.760
11. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’31.838
12. Ellison J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’31.890
13. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’31.913
14. Hopkins J. (USA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.007
15. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’32.103
16. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’32.139