Team Alstare Suzuki's Michel Fabrizio endured a day of disappointment in Imola in Italy for the 11th round of the world Superbike Championship, crashing out of the first race and retiring from the second after 11laps.
He hoped to do well in front of his home fans, started strongly in race one and was up to seventh place at the end of the first lap. But, on the very next lap, he hit the kerb at Variante Alta with the left side of his engine and was pitched off. Fortunately, he was uninjured, but was unable to continue.
In race two he was up to ninth after lap one and moved up to seventh before he started experiencing a mystery gearshift issue and he pulled in after 11 laps.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) won race one with Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) second and series leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) third. Rea then comfortably led race two and was on course for a double until a problem with a battery connector put him out of contention. With Rea sidelined, Haga and Checa were left to fight it out for the lead. Checa slipped past Haga on the approach to the final chicane on lap 16 and was then never headed on his way to victory, over four seconds ahead of Haga at the flag, Third went to Leon Camier (Aprilia) with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) fourth and Leon Haslam (BMW) fifth.
Michel Fabrizio - Race 1: DNF, Race 2: DNF:
"That was a very disappointing and frustrating day because, although my grid position was not ideal, I knew that my race-pace was good and that I would have a chance of fighting with the leaders. I made a good start to race one, but I was just maybe a bit too aggressive going into the Variante Alta and when the left side of the engine hit the kerb, I crashed. It happened so quickly that I couldn't recover. I ran to the bike and pulled off some of the fairing so that I could get back onboard, but I could see that there was too much damage to continue.
"My start was a bit calmer in race two and I set about moving up the order a bit more cautiously this time. However it wasn't long before I started having problems on the downshifts. I kept going for a while, but it got worse so I pulled in.
"After the disappointment in the last round, at the Nurburgring, today was even more disappointing and very unlucky. I know that my race-pace is pretty good, but I have not had a chance to show it in my last four outings. I am hoping that my luck will change in the next round at Magny-Cours, because I certainly need something to happen!"
Imola WSB Results:
Race 1:1 Jonathan Rea (GBR-Honda), 2 Noriyuki Haga (JPN-Aprilia), 3 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 4 Tom Sykes (GBR-Kawasaki), 5 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha), 6 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati). Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) DNF.
Race 2: 1 Checa, 2 Haga, 3 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia), 4 Laverty, 5 Leon Haslam (GBR- BMW), 6 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha). Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) DNF.
WSB Points: 1 Carlos Checa 417, 2 Marco Melandri 320, 3 Max Biaggi 281, 4 Eugene Laverty 256, 5 Leon Haslam 187, 6 Leon Camier 171. 10 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 141.