Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio endured a frustrating race at today's 12th round of the World Superbike Championship in Magny-Cours.
In race one, he attempted a pass on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) on lap 17, but clipped the rear end of the Briton's bike and crashed, remounting to eventually finish 12th. Fabrizio's second race lasted just two laps; he fell off at turn seven, but this time was unable to continue.
It was a disappointing end to a weekend at the French circuit that had seen Fabrizio and the team struggle to find a good set-up throughout the three days.
Carlos Checa (Ducati) won both races in style today and also took the 2011 World Superbike title. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) took second in the first race, with Leon Haslam (BMW) third. Melandri also took runner-up spot in race two with his team mate Eugene Laverty in third.
Michel Fabrizio - Race 1: 12th, Race 2: DNF:
"Frustrating and disappointing - that's what the whole weekend has been for me really. We did manage to improve the bike a bit during this morning's warm-up, but getting good results starting from the fourth-row-of-the grid was always going to be hard. The grip was definitely a bit better - thanks to the changes the team made - and I felt more-comfortable than yesterday or Friday.
"I didn't make a particularly-good start and found myself battling with Sykes after the halfway mark. I could see that he was having some tyre problems and thought I could pass him. I made my move to pass him going into Chateau D'Eau, but he went in a bit slow and I just clipped his rear end and crashed. I got back on the bike and carried on, but it was a pretty lonely ride.
"I was hoping for better luck in race two, but I didn't get it. After two laps, I lost the front at turn seven and down I went. It happened so quickly I couldn't do anything about it. This time, I couldn't rejoin the race.
"I feel frustrated and disappointed. The last four rounds have not been good for me and that's a big shame because things had gone reasonably well before then. My podium in May now seems a long time ago, but the funny thing is that I believe that I can get on the podium again. But first I have to qualify well in Superpole and give myself a chance. There is only one round - and two races - remaining and I do not want to end the season continuing this recent run of poor results. I will do everything I can to do better in Portimao and end the season on an up."
Magny Cours WSB Results:
Race 1: 1 Carlos Checa (ESP-Ducati), 2 Marco Melandri (ITA-Yamaha), 3 Leon Haslam (GBR-BMW), 4 Leon Camier (GBR-Aprilia), 5 Eugene Laverty (GBR-Yamaha), 6 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA-Ducati). 12 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki).
Race 2:1 Checa, 2 Melandri, 3 Laverty, 4 Haslam, 5 Guintoli, 6 Joan Lascorz (ESP-Kawasaki). Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) DNF.
World Championship Points: 1 Checa 467, 2 Melandri 360, 3 Laverty 283, 4 Biaggi 281, 5 Haslam 216, 6 Camier 194. 10 Michel Fabrizio (ITA-Alstare Suzuki) 145.