Just two weeks after winning his first race of the season at Kyalami, Michel Fabrizio's World Superbike season took another knock at Miller Motorsports Park after he could manage only a sole ninth place finish.

The Italian has endured a troubled season in 2009, his form fluctuating between winning in South Africa to a handful of results outside the top ten this season.

Returning to the circuit in which he has never finished off the podium, Fabrizio gave himself a tough task to maintain that run after qualifying in tenth.

Come race day, the Ducati Xerox rider proceeded to crash out of the first encounter before a poor start in race two would force Fabrizio into a fight back that would only take him as far as ninth position.

As such, he has dropped to tenth position in the overall standings and is now 49 points away from the battle for third position.

"It's a pity what happened to me in race one. It was totally unexpected, my bike was sliding around at the rear and then, from one moment to the next, I found myself on the ground.

"In race two I made a bad start, losing several positions and finding myself in the last group. I made up ground through the race but I wasn't able to catch Rea and Byrne ahead of me and finished ninth. I hoped to do a lot better here in America but now we must turn our attention to the next round in Misano."