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Crash.net's Top 10 WSBK Riders - 6th

Michel Fabrizio comes of age in 2009 to take the fight to title rivals Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga, winning three races and fifteen podiums
While a win-less maiden campaign as a factory-backed Ducati rider wasn't exactly what he and Davide Tardozzi had originally been striving for, Michel Fabrizio still entered 2009 with a solid foundation from which to progress.

And progress he certainly did, the charismatic Italian ending his sophomore season by scoring a debut victory – a feat he would repeat on two further occasions -, a total of 15 podiums and a third place finish in the standings.

Aiming to stamp his mark on 'number one' status in light of Troy Bayliss' departure and Noriyuki Haga's arrival, a tardy start to the season would instead leave Fabrizio out of the running for the title fight, as well as hand his team-mate the psychological upper hand.

It was an unfortunate occurrence as, for the most part, Fabrizio had the pace of title rivals Ben Spies and Haga at times in 2009. However, while the Roman found his consistency mid-season to complete an unbroken run of eight podiums, he was never anything closer than arm's length to the championship lead.

Furthermore, while he has emerged from 2009 with an envious set of statistics, Fabrizio didn't always endear himself to rivals, fans and commentators alike over the season. His bungled attempts at an overtaking manoeuvre over Spies at Brno prompted a furious reaction from the normally placid American, while his 'surprise' victory over Haga on home ground at Imola led many to blame him for the Japanese rider's failure to secure this year's title.

On-track incidents and conspiracy theories aside though, Fabrizio came of age in 2009. While his win at Monza was fortuitous and his Imola victory controversial, he went some way to redeeming himself with a fine last lap win at Portimao, a result otherwise ignored amongst the hubbub of the title conclusion.

Regardless of whether Fabrizio lost himself a few friends at Ducati, he stays put for another season and Haga knows he will be kept on his toes. After all, there is no better way to make people forget about previous 'indiscretions' by launching a title challenge of your own – and Fabrizio seems very capable of doing that in 2010…

Statistics:

Team: Ducati Xerox
Bike: Ducati 1198

Championship position: 3rd
Points: 382

Race starts: 28
Pole positions: 1
Victories: 3
Podiums: 15
Best results: 1st (Monza, Imola, Portimao)
Points finishes: 25

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: 10th

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009:

7 - Regis Laconi
8 - Jakub Smrz
9 - Troy Corser
10 - Shane Byrne


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK 2009
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK 2009
Fabrizio, Portuguese WSBK 2009
Fabrizio, Imola WSBK Race 2 2009
Akrapovic on Ducati, Jerez WSBK 2016
Ducati engine, German WSBK 2016
Chaz Davies, Ducati, fire
Aruba Ducati, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Aruba Ducati, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Ducati garage, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Dall`Igna kisses Davies` Ducati, race 2, Italian WSBK 2016
Akrapovic exhaust on Davies` Ducati, Australian WSBK 2016
Akrapovic exhaust on Ducati, Australian WSBK, 2016
Akrapovic exhaust on Ducati, Australian WSBK, 2016
Davies` Ducati, Australian WSBK 2016. Photo: WorldSBK

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Plaggie - Unregistered

December 18, 2009 12:35 PM

He deserves a higher rating, but not much higher in my opinion. I'm probably one of the few supporters of Fabrizio, but I think he should be raised 5th maximum. Haga and Spies are undoubtly nr 1 and 2. What Biaggi achieved on the new Aprillia was very impressive and the results of Haslam and the private (+ debuting) Stiggy team were even more impressive.

KTMKen

December 18, 2009 9:44 PM

I think he got the rating he deserved, this isn't the standings at the end of the season after all. I'm sure he would have rated higher if he didn't come across so cocky and if he had better track manners.



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