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Team Suzuki Alstare WSB Recap & Results – Donington

After being forced to DNF in the first race at today’s World Superbike Championship second round at Donington, Team Suzuki Alstare rider Michel Fabrizio came back with a gritty performance in the second 23 lapper to finish in seventh position.

If it had not have been for a third-row grid position and a poor start, Fabrizio would’ve been able to challenge for third spot, but the Italian was at least able to enjoy the race – unlike race one: In that, a slide going into Coppice corner forced the Italian into the gravel, but fortunately he was able to keep the bike upright and saved a crash. He got the bike back to the pits, where the team changed the rear tyre from a hard to a medium. His opening laps on the new tyre was a good one, but by lap three there was no grip at all, and seeing he was having difficulty controlling the bike – and also did not want to crash – he pulled out of the race.

The conditions at the British venue – that witnessed a total crowd of 51,000 over the weekend – were almost as poor as Saturday’s Qualifying and Superpole, with temperatures mostly sub-six Degrees.

Marco Melandri (Yamaha) won the first race, with Jakub Smrz (Ducati) second and Carlos Checa (Ducati) third. Checa then comfortably won race two – to make it three wins out of four to date in the 2011 season – with Melandri second and Leon Camier (Aprilia) third.

Michel Fabrizio – Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 7th:

“Today was a bit mixed, but I was happy with my performance in race two and I really enjoyed all the fights I had in that one. It’s just a shame about the first race. I’m not exactly sure what happened. All I know was that suddenly I had no rear grip at all going into Coppice. I went into the gravel, but managed not to crash. I thought there was something wrong with the rear tyre, so I pitted and changed the rear to a medium. My first lap was in the 1:30s and the second was pretty good also, but the third was way off the pace. From then, it got worse. I was dead last with no chance of catching anybody and, because I didn’t feel safe carrying on, I pulled into the pits. When we looked at the rear tyre, it was completely destroyed.

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“I didn’t make the best of starts in race two and when you are on the third row of the grid, good starts are needed. I was 14th at the end of the first lap and then I began to fight my way up. I improved my position lap-by-lap and had some great battles with Xaus, Biaggi, Corser and Smrz. At the end, Rea was not far ahead of me and I thought I could catch him, but I ran out of laps and finished seventh, which is not so bad from the third row of the grid. Who knows what might have happened if I had managed to get off the line better, but I was happy enough with my performance.”

Donington World Superbike Results:

Race 1: Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha), 2 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 3 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 4 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW), 5 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 6 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia). Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) DNF.

Race 2: 1 Checa, 2 Melandri, 3 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia), 4 Haslam, 5 Joan Lascorz (ESP-Kawasaki). 7 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare).

Championship Points: 1 Checa 91, 2 Melandri 72, 3 Haslam 53, 4 Biaggi 49, 5 Smrz 42, 6 Rea 38. 8 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) 27.