It has taken 87 races and 13 podium finishes over four years but Michel Fabrizio can finally call himself a World Superbike race winner after triumphing on home soil at Monza.
The Italian was in the right place at the right time when Ben Spies slowed coming out of the final corner having run out of fuel, Fabrizio duly sweeping through to beat Ducati Xerox team-mate Noriyuki Haga in the dash for the finish line.
Although even Fabrizio considers the circumstances of his win to be fortuitous, it did come having led in the early stages before mounting a comeback in the final laps after being unsettled by a gearchange problem.
While it wasn't quite good enough to beat Spies before he began slowing, Fabrizio remains a worthy winner having taken on and beaten Haga in a head-to-head for the first time this season.
“I am so happy with today's results,” he said. “It's gone well all weekend so I knew I had the chance to fight for the win and at last I've done it! Mid way through race one I was having trouble with the gears, especially when Ben passed me, but I didn't give up and fought till the end. It's a shame for Ben that the race finished as it did because it makes mine a bit of a false win but I'm very pleased of course.”
Coming away from Monza having scored 13 points more than any other rider, although he couldn't match Spies in race two on the way to second position, Fabrizio was happy to see the American make up for his race one problems.
“Ben deserved the win in the first race so I'm pleased he took it instead in race two. I had to ride the second bike in race two and for some reason I found it tricky at the start, I didn't have a great feeling and couldn't push but after a few laps I just concentrated on reaching the podium again and then it became easier.
“I thank my whole team for giving me such a fantastic bike this weekend. The double win I'll leave for the next race!”