Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio defied the pain barrier to take fifth place in race two at the World Superbike fifth round at Miller Motorsports Park in America.
The young Italian had been taken out in race one after being hit by Ruben Xaus and suffered heavy bruising to his left thigh and leg in the process. His performance in race two made a mockery of his discomfort as he fought through the field from 15th place on the grid and was catching fourth-placed Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) but ran out of laps and ended less than half a second behind at the flag.
Spaniard Carlos Checa (Ducati) continued his dominance of the weekend by taking both victories: In race one he was joined on the podium with fellow Ducati riders Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli. In race two, it was the Aprilia pairing of Leon Camier and Max Biaggi who occupied the lower steps of the podium.
Michel Fabrizio – Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 5th:
“I am angry because today could’ve been much better for us. I couldn’t do anything about the crash in the first race because I didn’t know what was going on until I felt a thump. The impact made me fly through the air and I landed very heavily on my left side. Ruben Xaus had got in a bit too hot and just hit me and that was that. Afterwards he came into our garage and apologised.
“The team repaired the bike and I used it in race two. I didn’t take any painkillers before the second race because I wanted the pain to transform into positive energy. I didn’t make a particularly good start and had a lot of work to do in the opening laps. Bit by bit, I moved up through the field and by lap 11 I was in fifth place, but a long behind Laverty. I kept forcing the pace and managed to catch him. I knew I was turning in faster laps than him and was confident that I could pass him on the next lap. Unfortunately I ran out of laps, but if there had been one lap more, I am sure I would’ve passed him and taken fourth. So I am happy to get fifth from 15th on the grid, but a little angry because one lap more and I would’ve got fourth.”
Race 1: 1 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 2 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati), 3 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati), 4 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia), 5 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha), 6 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki). Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) DNF.
Race 2: 1 Checa, 2 Camier, 3 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 4 Laverty, 5 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki), 6 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha).
Championship Points: 1 Checa 195, 2 Melandri 134, 4 Biaggi 133, 5 Laverty 109, 6 Haslam 95, 7 Camier 91. 8 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 85.