Fabrizio Takes Imola Pole

Cycle News Staff | September 26, 2009

Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio ended up on top of the time sheets in the only timed qualifiying session for tomorrow’s two World Superbike races at Imola in Italy, and then he went out and did one better in Superpole, besting nine-time 2009 pole sitter Ben Spies in the final seconds of the session to do so.Fabrizio ripped off a 1:47.735 on his final lap of Superpole to claim his first-ever World Superbike pole position, the Italian doing so in front of a large contingent of his home fans. With yesterday’s first practice session cancelled when the World Superbike men found the track to slippery to ride on, yesterday afternoon’s session was a free session. That meant the only timed session prior to Superpole was today’s and Fabrizio also led that.The pole at Imola was not only Fabrizio’s first, but it also marked the 150th pole position for Ducati with Marco Lucchinelli giving the Italian company its first World Superbike pole position at Sugo in Japan in 1988.After having ended that qualifying session in third, Spies and his Yamaha R1 jumped up one spot in Superpole to nail down second on the front row for the two races tomorrow. Spies ended up just .043 of a second from earning his 10th pole position of the season.Ten Kate Hannspree Honda’s Jonathan Rea was ahead of Spies in the qualifying session held prior to Superpole, but the Brit dropped down a spot as those two reversed their positions in Superpole. Rea ended up with a 1:47.834 and that lap was good enough to keep Ducati Xerox’s Noriyuki Haga behind him. Haga, the only person with a legitimate shot at stopping Spies from earning the title this season, will complete the front row for tomorrow’s races.Guandalini Racing Ducati’s Jakub Smrz leads row two, the Czech besting Aprilia’s Max Biaggi by half a second despite having suffered a crash during final qualifying. Then came Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne, the Brit holding back World Superbike debutante Marco Simoncelli. The Italian was impressive in his Superpole debut, making it through to the final eight. He will be the final rider on the second row.BMW’s Troy Corser was the best of the rest that didn’t make the top eight in final Superpole, the Aussie barely besting Stiggy Honda’s Leon Haslam. Italian Lorenzo Lanzi was 11th on the DFX Corse Ducati – one spot better than this teammate Fonsi Nieto.


1. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:47.735

2. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:47.778

3. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:47.834

4. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:47.885

5. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:48.156

6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:48.665

7. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:49.092

8. Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia) 1:49.338

9. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:48.971

10. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:48.992