Another stellar fight back to fifth has seen Michel Fabrizio maintain a strong position in the World Superbike standings, despite starting both races at Miller Motorsports Park down in 15th position.
The Italian's struggles in qualifying continued as he failed to get through into SP2, while his progress in race one was curtailed after just two laps when he was eliminated by an ill-judged pass from Ruben Xaus.
Nonetheless, despite bruising to his thigh – to go with the 'flu he had been suffering earlier in the weekend -, Fabrizio put in a remarkable charge up the order in race two to finish in fifth place, just half a second behind Eugene Laverty, who had started third.
With this in mind, Fabrizio is frustrated he didn't come away from the United States with better results, but was pleased to at least end on a high note.
“I am angry because it could've been much better for us,” the Suzuki Alstare rider said. “I couldn't do anything about the crash in the first race because I didn't know what was going on until I felt a thump. The impact made me fly through the air and I landed very heavily on my left side. Ruben (Xaus) had got in a bit too hot and just hit me and that was that. Afterwards he came into our garage and apologised.
“The team repaired the bike and I used it in race two. I didn't take any painkillers before the second race because I wanted the pain to transform into positive energy. I didn't make a particularly good start and had a lot of work to do in the opening laps. Bit by bit, I moved up through the field and by lap eleven I was fifth place, but a long behind Laverty.
“I kept forcing the pace and managed to catch him. I knew I was turning in faster laps than him and was confident that I could pass him on the next lap. Unfortunately I ran out of laps, but if there had been one lap more, I am sure I would've passed him and taken fourth. So I am happy to get fifth from fifteen on the grid, but a little angry because one lap more and I would've got fourth.”
Fabrizio drops a position to eighth in the standings, but is only ten points from fifth overall.