Michel Fabrizio 4th in the 2011 Assen World Superbike Qualifying.

World Superbike: Team Suzuki Press Release

World Superbike: Team Suzuki Alstare rider Michel Fabrizio ended the first day of World Superbike practice and qualifying at Assen with the fourth quickest time, happy with the job he and the team had done.

world superbike, 2011 world superbike, world superbike racing, 2011 world superbike racing, suzuki world superbike, wsbk racing, 2011 world superbike assen, assen world superbikeConditions were good throughout the day at the Dutch circuit, although the morning sun did give way to grey clouds in the afternoon.

Fabrizio finished first practice in 16th place, but improved dramatically to fourth and in contention for Pole during the afternoon timed session aboard his GSX-R1000.

Czech rider Jakub Smrz (Ducati) dominated both sessions today, ending with a lap of 1:36.058 – three tenths of a second inside the lap record set by Jonathan Rea last year.

Second quickest was reigning champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia), with Marco Melandri (Yamaha) third, less than a tenth-of-a-second ahead of Fabrizio.

The top six bikes today were all different manufacturers and just one-and-a-half seconds separated the top 13 riders.

Michel Fabrizio – 4th, 1:36.550:

“I am quite happy, because I think we did a very good job today. We didn’t panic after the morning session, when we were 16th, but just went about our job professionally and got our reward as a result. We didn’t even use a soft tyre until the end of this afternoon’s qualifying, so I am particularly happy. I have a good feeling with my bike and my lap times have been pretty consistent when I did a bit of a long run his afternoon.

“Unfortunately, I am not at 100%, because I have stomach upset. My son was ill at the start of the week and he gave me his bug. It doesn’t affect me too much, but of course, I would prefer to be in the best condition possible.

“Assen is a very technical track and it’s hard to shave off those last fractions of a second. I prefer the ‘old’ Assen, but I guess most of us do. It’s very important to be on the first row of the grid here, because the first turn is a bit of a funnel and you do not want to get held up there. If you don’t get through it, in the front or up with the leaders, it’s very hard to get back into contention.

“This is my first time here on the Suzuki and the feeling is very different to racing a twin. This bike changes direction much more easily and is less physical. The last chicane used to be very hard – especially at the end of a long race – but my Suzuki is going through it very well and so I am really looking forward to the races.”

Friday Qualifying: 1 Jakub Smrz (CZE-Ducati) 1:36.058, 2 Max Biaggi (ITA-Aprilia) 1:36.287, 3 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha) 1:36.494, 4 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Suzuki Alstare) 1:36.550, 5 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki) 1:36.747, 6 Troy Corser (AUS-BMW) 1:36.876.

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