A fifth and sixth consecutive podium finish made Michel Fabrizio Ducati Xerox's leading representative in the seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park.
With team-mate Noriyuki Haga struggling to get comfortable on his machine, it was left to Fabrizio to uphold honours in both races, the Italian duly securing a second and third place finish.
While he was made to work hard in the first race when a slow restart forced him to fight his way back into contention, a last lap pass on Max Biaggi would give Fabrizio the space he needed to grab the position, on aggregate, at the death from Ryuichi Kiyonari.
“Well race one was quite hard, because after the restart I felt like a ping-pong ball, there were three or four guys coming at me from all directions causing me to lose some positions. I had to push hard to pass them again and it wasn't easy but my desire to be up on the podium gave me the strength I needed and so I'm happy with the result.
Getting a better start from fourth on the grid in the second race, Fabrizio tried hard to sustain the margin to race leader Ben Spies, but could do nothing to keep up with him in the closing stages as he settled for second.
“In the second race I got away well and did all I could to stick with Ben out front. The gap between us was about 1.5 seconds and I pushed hard to close it up, perhaps too hard, because in the last laps my front tyre was finished and I couldn't do more to catch him.
“Ben was really strong today so I can't complain that I didn't win. I take away 36 valuable points and now we head to Misano where I'd like to be back up on the top step of the podium.”
Although he drops to third in the standings as a result of Spies' wins, he moves to within 64 points of championship leader Haga.