In the week that Ducati announced it would be withdrawing its factory support from the World Superbike Championship, Noriyuki Haga is hoping to keep spirits high with some good results at the Nurburgring.
The Japanese rider was a double winner around the German circuit for Yamaha when it returned to the calendar in 2008. He was second for Ducati Xerox last season too, although a collision in race two would go on to hamper his title hopes.
Heading into this weekend's events having slipped to seventh in the standings, Haga is keen to replicate the form that took him to two victories two years ago.
"I had a great time here in 2008, taking a double win despite some terrible conditions that messed up the smooth running of race day, but then last season didn't go to plan as I started in pole but crashed out of race two in a race I was sure I could have won.
“The problem at the Nürburgring is that no-one can predict the conditions – we've seen the sun come out just minutes after a hail shower so mixed conditions like those make it hard to prepare for race day.”
On the other side of the garage, Michel Fabrizio is eyeing his first podium at the Nurburgring having finished no higher than sixth in four starts.
“I was disappointed to miss out on the podium at Silverstone so I'll be trying my best to get there at the Nurburgring. I really like the track but haven't managed to reach the podium before.
“The weather is so mixed of course and that can really mess up a weekend if conditions change dramatically each day. Anyway, we'll be looking to take as many points as possible, and I'll have my eyes on a top three finish.”