New Ducati Xerox star Noriyuki Haga fell at the same place during both days of the Phillip Island test, the last chance for track time before this weekend's 2009 World Superbike season opener, but the former Yamaha rider remained 'happy' with the work done.
“I'm sorry that I crashed again in exactly the same way and place as yesterday [turn two] but accidents happen and overall I'm happy with the work we've done here,” said Nori.
Haga had been fifth fastest by the close of Saturday, but trimmed 0.7sec from his best lap time on Sunday to sit just 0.2sec behind team-mate Michel Fabrizio in second (or third) on the final timesheets.
“I'd say overall that it has been a productive day,” said the #41. “We have once again tested many different things and I feel I'm starting to know the bike better but we still have work to do in order to test all the configurations that the bike permits. I rode race distance which was a useful exercise and I was quite happy with the wear of the tyres, especially the front. On Friday we want to test some different suspension settings as I am not yet totally comfortable with the front.”
Ducati stated that Fabrizio's best Sunday lap of 1min 32.1secs was “the fastest time of the day” but this was disputed by Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea, who declared that he had recorded a 1min 31.8sec.
Either way, Fabrizio goes into the opening round 'quietly confident'.
“We have worked mainly on getting up to race pace today and it's gone pretty well,” said the Italian. “In the late morning I completed a long-run with lap times that were similar to those I recorded during last year's race here so I was pleased with that. It's all looking good for next weekend and I'm feeling quietly confident.”
Ducati Corse is now referring to its 2009 WSBK racer as the '1198', matching its engine capacity, rather than a 1098 (the road bike on which it is based).
First qualifying for the 2009 Phillip Island WSBK round takes place on Friday.