Michel Fabrizio is targeting a return to the World Superbike podium at Imola as he looks to give the Suzuki Alstare team a boost before the end of the 2011 season.
Fabrizio failed to score any points last time out at the Nurburgring after picking up an arm injury during the first race, the Italian now under threat from Sylvain Guintoli and Ayrton Badovini in the fight for seventh in the overall standings.
Nonetheless, Fabrizio is confident for Imola, another home circuit for the Italian, not least because he was a winner there in 2009 aboard the Ducati Xerox.
“Imola is one of my favourite tracks, not just because I have had some successes there but also because it is a great track to ride. Technically it is challenging because there are lots of changes of elevation and also because there are some blind corners and so you need a good bike set-up and know where and when to brake.
“It is a track where it easy to make up time and very easy to lose time -especially if you get held up at the start. If that happens, it is very difficult to make up the time. It is very important to be on the first two rows of the grid and then make a good start for the approach to the first couple of turns.
With Suzuki's plans for 2012 still uncertain, Fabrizio is determined to bring some joy to the Alstare team over the final three rounds of the year.
“It's no secret that Superpole has caused us a few problems this year. By not qualifying well, it means that I have a lot of work to do catch the leaders and if I push too hard the tyres get worn out more quickly. My aim, as usual, is to try and qualify well and give myself a chance at the start of the race.
“I know that my race pace is good, but that's no good if I am down in eighth, ninth or tenth or so at the start. I need to be in the top four or five at the beginning and be fighting with the leaders.
My last podium was in Monza, in May, so I think it's about time I was there again -especially as I failed to score any points in the last round. There are just three rounds left this year and I want to do the very best I can in all of them and finish the last part of the season on a high.”