Michel Fabrizio, an unofficial second fastest to Jonathan Rea at last weekend's Phillip Island test, believes that this weekend's 2009 World Superbike season opener will see a fierce fight at the front.

"Last year I felt that some teams weren't totally ready for the start of the season while this year we all seem to be more prepared which means that on Sunday I think we'll be seeing a real fight up at the front for those podium places," said the Italian, preparing to start his second season at Ducati Xerox. "I'm happy with how we've been progressing in winter testing and the tests here this weekend were definitely beneficial too. I like this track and am ready to get this championship started."

Team-mate Noriyuki Haga will be making his factory Ducati debut at the Australian event and, after finishing one place behind Fabrizio at the test, is aiming to improve on his recent Phillip Island record.

"I have to say it's a track that I like but I have had very mixed results here over the years. In the last few years my best result was a third in 2007 but in 1998 I won Race 2. Since then I haven't had so much luck but I am hoping that I can change this this year! The tests last weekend went well and we'll continue to test various things on Friday in preparation for Sunday's races."

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