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Haga happy with test – but 'ready to go home'

30 October 2009

Ducati Xerox World Superbike Championship (WSBK) pairing Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio completed what was described by the team as a 'positive' test at Portimao earlier this week – even if the former, pipped to the crown by Yamaha rival Ben Spies last weekend, admitted that by the end of it he was 'ready to go home'.

The second day of the immediate post-season test took place in cooler, more overcast conditions, as Haga, Portimao race two-winner Fabrizio and their technicians picked up from where they had left off the previous day. The Japanese star tried out a new clutch and professed himself happy with the initial results, citing it as a good starting point for 2010. He also used a new fork, but declared at the end of testing that he preferred his usual one.

“We tried the new front fork and it felt quite similar to the one I use already,” remarked Haga, “but overall I prefer the one I have used up until now – the new one didn't give me anything extra. I worked with the new clutch which is a bit of a different concept, but it gave me a good feeling and it definitely has potential. I'm happy with how it's gone here, but to be honest I'm ready to go home as it's been a long week.”

Fabrizio, for his part, continued to ride with the new fork, similarly testing the new shock provided by Ohlins. The young Roman admitted to feeling very comfortable as he recorded some very fast lap times, as much as 1.3 seconds quicker than Haga and on a par with Brits Jonathan Rea for Honda, Leon Haslam on-board the Suzuki and Yamaha WSBK newcomer Cal Crutchlow before Ducati Xerox wrapped its activities up at lunchtime to head back to its Italian base.

“I continued to test the fork that we used on the first day,” revealed Fabrizio, “and I also tried the new shock. With the bike in its 2009 configuration but with the new shock mounted, I was immediately half a second faster so it seems to be a big improvement. I'm very happy with the times, as me and Jonathan were again the fastest out there and I'd say the test has finished on a very positive note.”


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