Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio raced to his first World Superbike Championship podium with his new team in the second race at the Monza fourth round in Italy today.
It was just reward for all the hard work the Italian and Alstare Suzuki have been putting in since the start of the season and his third place in Race 2 – in front of a partisan crowd of 116,500 – followed a hard-fought-for fifth in Race 1, when he set the fastest lap.
Briton Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) opened his World Superbike account by winning the first race with Max Biaggi (Aprilia) second and Leon Haslam (BMW) third. Laverty then followed it up by winning race two, after leader Biaggi was forced to take a ride-through penalty after failing to take the correct line after cutting the first chicane. This time Marco Melandri (Yamaha) was second with Fabrizio, on his GSX-R1000, close behind.
Michel Fabrizio – Race 1: 5th, Race 2: 3rd:
“I am very happy with my podium this afternoon, especially as I was in fourth for a long time at the end and that’s where I thought I’d end up. When Biaggi had to do a ride-through penalty that moved the two Yamahas and me up a place. Racing is like that – sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
“It was a bit of a shame that I didn’t make better starts in the two races today and that’s something that I will have to work on. At the moment I am probably giving myself too much work to do in the first part of the race and this series is so competitive that once you give way an advantage, it’s very hard to get it back.
“Even though I didn’t get on the podium in Race 1, I am happy that I set the fastest lap of the race – especially as Biaggi’s bike was nearly seven kph faster. I think our team is working really well and I am very pleased with how things are going. I am very happy to get my first podium of the season and hopefully there will be more to come.”
Monza WSB Results:
Race 1: 1 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha), 2 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia), 3 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW), 4 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha), 5 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki), 6 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda).
Race 2: 1 Laverty, 2 Melandri, 3 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki), 4 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia), 5 Troy Corser (AUS-BMW), 6 Ayrton Badovini (ITA-BMW).
Championship Points (after 4 rounds): 1 Checa 145, 2 Melandri 118, 3 Biaggi 117, 4 Rea 89, 5 Laverty 85, 6 Haslam 84, 7 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 74.