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Fabrizio 6th on Silverstone Opening Day

Team Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio finished the opening day of practice and qualifying at the Silverstone World Superbike Championship ninth-round in the UK with the sixth-fastest lap of a day, as the top-12 riders were separated by less than a second.

Like many times this year, Silverstone is a new track for Fabrizio and his Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000; and he and the team spent most of the time working on finding a good set-up for the bike. By the end of the day, he and the team was happy enough with what it had achieved, but will spend tomorrow looking for further improvements ahead of Sunday’s pair of 18-lap races.

Series leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) led the charge today, posting a lap of 2:05.477. Second quickest was Maxime Berger (Ducati) with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) third and Leon Camier (Aprilia) fourth.

Michel Fabrizio – 6th, 2:06.023:

“I am not happy, but I am not unhappy about how things worked out today. As usual we spent most of the time trying to find a good set-up for the bike, so we tried many things and made many adjustments. We also tried to find a good grip-level and, at the end, we felt that we had gone in the right direction and hopefully we will continue to improve tomorrow.

“This is my first time here on a four-cylinder bike, so I took things pretty steadily in the morning and just tried to get comfortable with the bike. My right foot is a bit of a problem. I think that the discomfort I am feeling, between the smallest toe and the one next to it is a relic of my crash in America. I am really not sure if there is a small fracture there or maybe a cyst has formed, but it does get a bit uncomfortable on the bike sometimes. To make things easier for me, the team made the right footrest shorter and that has taken some of the pressure off the outside of my foot. I certainly felt more comfortable with the shorter footrest and once I am racing, it is not a problem anyway.

“Hopefully the conditions will stay dry and I will improve tomorrow, both in practice and Superpole qualifying. It would be good to be on the front-row of the grid, but my first aim is to be in final Superpole. After that, we shall have to see.”

Friday qualifying: 1 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati) 2:05.477, 2 Maxime Berger (FRA-Ducati) 2:05.870, 3 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki) 2:05.899, 4 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia) 2:05.937, 5 John Hopkins (USA-Suzuki) 2:05.974, 6 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 2:06.023.