Michel Fabrizio shrugged of a 13th place starting position during the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Assen to claim a fine top five finish.
The Italian began both races from the fourth row after being nudged out of Q1 during Superpole, but relentless pace during the early stages of race one saw him claw his way up the order to run as high as fourth at one stage.
Though he was reeled in and passed by Marco Melandri in the closing stages, Fabrizio was still able to hold on for fifth, before adding a seventh position to his tally in race two.
However, while Fabrizio was delighted with his race pace on the Suzuki Alstare, he lamented having to do it from a lowly grid position.
“Generally I am quite please with our performance, especially considering that I had to start from the fourth row of the grid,” he said. “I didn't make a good start in the first race, but managed to get into fourth by lap twelve. It had taken some time to get past some of the riders, but I was fairly comfortable in fourth until a few laps from the end.
My front tyre was already moving about a lot by the time Melandri came past and although I tried to catch him again, the tyre wasn't up to it, so I had to be satisfied with fifth instead.
“I used the same tyres (soft front and rear) for race two, but this time, they began to go off after only six laps. From then it was a real struggle to push hard enough to catch and pass Haslam and Laverty, but I kept trying right to end of the race. At the finish, I was just one tenth of a second behind Laverty, so it was pretty close.
“Although it was quite a good day for us, it would've been so much better if I had not have had the problem in Superpole. I am convinced that if I had been on the first or second row of the grid today, I would've got on the podium for sure - and maybe have even won a race!”