WSBK

Michel Fabrizio sets early pace at Kyalami

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Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio immediately demonstrated his improved pace when he closed first qualifying in pole position for the South African World Superbike race weekend, at the Kyalami circuit, thanks to a fastest lap time of 1m38.4.

Yamaha's Cal Crutchlow was second quickest followed by Irisman Jonathan Rea.

The Superbike riders enjoyed great weather (air temperature 25å¡C, track 36å¡C) on the first day. The first practice session that took place in the early afternoon were Fabrizio was immediately fast. Towards the end of the 60-minute session Michel ducked under 1m40 for the first time and then, in a final exit in the last minutes, he made his fastest lap of 1m39.081, three tenths faster than Jakub Smrz who, on his privateer Ducati, finished the session in second.

Just over an hour later in the first qualifying session, Michel recorded a first lap of 1m38.7, a very fast time that remained the time to beat for the first half of the session until, on new tyres, he improved further, registering a 1m38.4. In the final stages Cal Crutchlow and Jonathan Rea came close to Michel‰Ûªs best time but no-one was able to better it and the Italian rider closed in first place.

‰ÛÏWe made a good start today," Fabrizio said. "We started from last year‰Ûªs set-up but then made a variety of changes to both the front and rear of my bike. I have a good feeling and didn‰Ûªt have any particular problems today. The only thing we need to work on is tyre wear as I did a mini long-run today with the new tyre that‰Ûªs available to us but after nine laps the grip was already dropping off.‰Û

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