Michel Fabrizio could barely contain his disappointment at missing out on victory in the opening World Superbike race of the season, particularly after he was initially awarded the win.
After a race spent staring at the back of Leon Haslam's Suzuki, a last gasp attack out of the final bend brought him alongside his rival as the finish line approached where the timing screens initially revealed him as the winner by 0.004secs.
Prompting celebrations amongst the Ducati Xerox team, Fabrizio too believed he had won when he glanced at the 'big screen' to see the cameras trained on his delighted wife.
However, the result was only officially declared when a photo-finish was swiftly produced, with Haslam being shown to have held on to victory by little more than an inch. With the result reversed, Fabrizio was forced to concede defeat, much to his frustration.
“I had a great battle with Leon in race one,” he said. “In the last four laps I tried to understand where I could attempt to get past him but it wasn't easy so I pushed on right to the finish line and, to tell the truth, I thought I'd done enough!
“Leon and I were right there together as we crossed the line, and on the big screen I could see my wife celebrating in the box - but the result was decided by the photo-finish and I had to settle for 20 points this time.”
Keen to make amends in race two, Fabrizio was once again amongst the leaders from start-to-finish, but he could not get any higher than third after being overtaken by Carlos Checa
late on and finish behind Haslam again.
Nonetheless, Fabrizio was satisfied with his performances as two podium results signal his best start to a World Superbike season
“My team did not make any changes to the bike before the second race and I was again able to make a good start but it was a very difficult race. I stayed there with the leading pack but I realised it would be very hard to win, and in the last four laps it became more difficult to fight.
“I am very happy with today's results, which put me in second place on the leaderboard after round one. It will be a very long and challenging season but we've made a good start today.”