Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio is looking for a change of luck at this weekend’s third round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen.
The Dutch circuit, a fixture on the WSBK calendar since 1992 and a flowing circuit favoured by many riders, hasn’t always been kind to the Italian; since his third place in race one in 2006 his best finish has been a fourth in 2009.
“Other riders say how good the Assen circuit is, but it has never been much of a happy hunting ground for me – well not since 2006 that is. I’m not exactly sure why I have never got on with the circuit as well as some of the other riders, but the track and I have just not gelled – for whatever reason. Mind you, things will be a bit different this year because, after years on a twin, this time I will be on a four cylinder bike. The characteristics are very different to a twin and I am hoping that the bike will suit the circuit and I will enjoy the ride.
“Because the track has a ‘flowing’ nature, once again it will be important to get a good, stable set-up before pushing too hard. If you push too hard at this track, you will end up going slower, so I need to keep calm and just get into a good rhythm. If I can do that and qualify well, then I am sure I can challenge the top guys.
“I was happy with my performance in the second race in the last round and felt I was working well with the bike, or maybe the bike was working well with me! I need to get a good set-up for the bike early on in practice and qualifying and then I will be able to run with leaders.
“The competition is very, very hard this year and often just fractions of a second can make the difference between the front row of the grid and the third. I think this is probably the toughest season in World Superbike history, but I am enjoying the challenge. I like a good fight and certainly intend on improving on my last year’s results.”
Race 1: 1 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 2 James Toseland (GBR-Yamaha), 3 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia). 13 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).
Race 2: 1 Rea, 2 Leon Haslam (GBR-Suzuki Alstare), 3 Toseland. 12 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Ducati).