Fabrizio quickest as Monza test begins

Ducati Xerox set the pace as a handful of World Superbike teams made the trip to Monza for two days of private testing in Italy.

Nine riders made it out on track for the first day of testing around the high-speed Italian circuit, with home favourite Michel Fabrizio leading the way, ahead of championship leading team-mate Noriyuki Haga.

Setting a best unofficial time of 1min 45.7secs, Fabrizio, who managed two podiums last time out at Valencia, was 1.8secs down on Troy Bayliss' lap record, although their progress was hampered by damp and dirty conditions early on.

“It hasn't gone at all badly; we tried a new setting and I feel much more comfortable using that,” said Fabrizio. “We also tested all the tyres that Pirelli brought for us to use and I had a good pace and completed some consistently fast laps, with times in the high 1min 45, low 1min 46 bracket. We were going faster than we did during the race here last year so I'm satisfied with today's progress.”

“Today has been very positive,” added Haga. “We have tried different tyre solutions and I had quite a good feeling for the most part. This morning the track was partly wet but once it dried out I was able to make some good lap times, pretty fast. I also tried a new suspension setting but it is not yet clear whether it might be beneficial on this track; we'll continue to work tomorrow and see how it goes.”

In addition, Ben Spies got his first taste of the Monza circuit as he ended the day with the third quickest time, two tenths behind Fabrizio and marginally ahead of Yamaha team-mate Tom Sykes.

Suzuki Alstare Brux and BMW were also present at the test, last year's Monza race winner Max Neukirchner fifth, Troy Corser sixth and Yukio Kagayama seventh, while Karl Muggeridge got some useful laps in on Celani Suzuki in eighth, ahead of Ruben Xaus.

Monza WSBK testing – day one

1. Michel Fabrizio Ducati Xerox 1min 45.7s
2. Noriyuki Haga Ducati Xerox 1min 45.8s
3. Ben Spies Yamaha WSB 1min 45.9s
4. Tom Sykes Yamaha WSB 1min 45.9s
5. Max Neukirchner Suzuki Alstare 1min 46.3s
6. Troy Corser BMW 1min 46.3s
7. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki Alstare 1min 46.8s
8. Karl Muggeridge Suzuki Celani 1min 47.1s
9. Ruben Xaus BMW 1min 47.2s

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