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.
“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.