Team Suzuki Press Office – September 23. Team Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio ended the first day of practice and qualifying at this weekend’s World Superbike Championship 11th round at Imola in Italy upbeat having set the fourth quickest lap of the day.
He was not happy with the morning session, but this afternoon saw a big improvement and he ended the day with a good bike set-up and only fine-tuning to be done tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) finished first qualifying with the fastest lap with series leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) second. Third quickest today was Leon Haslam (BMW) with Fabrizio less than a tenth-of-a-second behind. Trailing Fabrizio was Marco Melandri (Yamaha) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) – making it six different manufacturers in the top six positions.
Michel Fabrizio – 4th, 1:48.726:
“This morning I was not so happy, but this afternoon everything went a lot better and we made quite a good improvement. I had some problems with the gearshift on the downshifts today, but that will be resolved for tomorrow. The track has been mostly resurfaced since we were here last time and now it is much better to ride. There are less bumps and the grip has definitely improved. As more rubber goes down, I’m sure that the grip level will get even higher. I found a good set-up this afternoon and so I think that tomorrow all we’ll have to do is a bit of fine-tuning and try out a few tyres.
Friday qualifying: 1 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda) 1:48.241, 2 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati) 1:48.400, 3 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW) 1:48.701, 4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 1:48.726, 5 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha) 1:48.844, 6 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki) 1:48.884.