Team Suzuki Press Office – September 2. Team Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio ended the first day of practice and qualifying at the Nurburgring in Germany with the fourth-quickest time- and just a fraction behind the current Championship leaders.
This morning’s free practice started with a damp track and Fabrizio – like many riders – just went out for a couple of laps before returning to the pits and he waited until the track was sufficiently-dry before going out on slicks.
This afternoon’s timed qualifying took place in completely dry conditions and the lap times began to fall as the session progressed. Fabrizio had a small tumble at the start of the session, fortunately without injury, but returned to the pits quickly and got on his spare bike; and at the end of the session, his time of 1:56.085 was good enough for fourth place overall.
Reigning Champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia) was quickest today with Carlos Checa (Ducati) second and Marco Melandri (Yamaha) third.
Michel Fabrizio – 4th, 1:56.085:
“Generally I am pretty satisfied with today, but obviously a little angry with myself because I had a crash and that meant I gave my mechanics extra work to do! It was a slow-speed crash at the right-hander about as far away from the pits as you can get, but I didn’t hurt myself at all. I quickly got a lift back to the pits on a scooter and had plenty of time to sort myself out for the rest of the session.
“My number two bike has the same set-up as my number one bike, so I was able to get on the pace straightaway without a problem. Fourth is OK for the first day and I’m also happy because we are pretty close to having a good set-up for the race. Tomorrow we’ll just make some fine adjustments and see if we can make any improvements. We’ll try a few little suspension changes to see if we can improve the rear grip, but really there’s not that much to do – unless it rains of course!
“I would prefer it to be dry on Sunday because this track is pretty slippery in the wet and it’s an easy track to have a crash. Hopefully it’ll be dry tomorrow and I can get a place on the front row of the grid. I haven’t managed that so far this season, so this would be a good place to do it.
Friday WSB Qualifying: 1 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia) 1:55.524, 2 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati) 1:55.673, 3 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha) 1:55.819, 4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 1:56.085, 5 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha) 1:56.197, 6 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati) 1:56.319.