New Team Suzuki Alstare rider Michel Fabrizio used the three-day World Superbike test at the Motorland circuit at Aragon in Spain getting comfortable with his GSX-R1000 and start work with his new team.
It was Fabrizio’s second time on a four-cylinder bike after years of riding a twin, but the Italian soon got into the groove and left the circuit in a happy frame of mind. Although there’s a lot of work to be done before the 2011 season, Fabrizio and the crew have gelled from the start – thanks to him having worked with Suzuki Alstare in the past – and they are now looking forward to moving forward at the next round of tests.
Motorland Aragon is a new circuit and a round of the 2011 Superbike World Championship will be held here next, so it was important that riders and teams got to know the demanding track ahead of next year’s race. The 5.344-kilometre circuit features many changes of elevation and is regarded as a technical track, but one that is also fun to ride.
“After our test in Magny-Cours in early October, it was good to get back on the bike and continue where we left off in France. Here we spent a lot of time working with the bike and trying to make me feel comfortable with it. After years of riding a twin-cylinder bike, there is a lot to adapt to, because the characteristics of a four-cylinder bike is very different to that of a twin. After these three days, I felt much more comfortable on the bike and I was able to steadily-build up my confidence. We haven’t been chasing lap times or pushing too hard, but what we’ve done here is build up our understanding step by step.
“Having known most of the mechanics from when I raced for the team before has helped a lot and I’ve felt pretty comfortable with the team right from the start. That has made the work more-easy and our progress quicker. To be honest, I didn’t expect to get on with the bike as quickly as I have – but that is a good sign.
“This track is quite technical and there are many ups and downs, but I like it a lot. It’s a demanding track and although it’s not that hard to learn, it is quite hard to shave off those last fractions of a second when you are chasing lap times. The surface is very abrasive and none of our tyres have lasted more than about eight or so laps. It’s the same for everybody here – not just us. We are using a different layout to the MotoGP boys and have one really slow corner after a long, fast straight; and this interrupts the flow a lot. It’s a shame that we cannot use the same layout as MotoGP because it might have been fun looking at our different lap times.
“There have been no big problems or dramas during the tests and I’m pretty satisfied about how everything has gone. Now I’m looking forward to the next tests, getting to know the bike better; and improving all round.”