Thursday 4th September 2008
The Ducati Xerox Team, refreshed after the traditional month-long summer break, returns to the UK this weekend for the eleventh of fourteen World Superbike rounds, this time at the Donington Park circuit.
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Aboard their Ducati 1098 F08 machines, factory riders Troy Bayliss and Michel Fabrizio look forward to receiving some great support from the British fans in what should be one of the biggest events on the season's calendar. For Troy the weekend holds particular significance as it will be the last time he races a Superbike in the UK, after competing here many times over the years in both the world and British series. Last year was particularly memorable for the Australian as a bad highside at the Coppice curve resulted in the need for reconstructive surgery to his little finger.
Just prior to the vacation period, the championship visited Brands Hatch, a weekend which saw mixed fortunes for the Ducati Xerox riders who, despite having gained valuable points, both hope for better results this week.
Troy Bayliss (1st in championship, 334 points)
Two-times world champion Bayliss aims to ride his 1098 F08 to victory at a track where a win has, until now, eluded him.
"I'm feeling really good after the break and am looking forward to what is to be my last Superbike visit to England. Bearing that in mind, and after the disaster that was last year's Donington race weekend, I'm even more determined to put in a good performance this time around. I've never got the results I hoped for at this track, for whatever reason. However, with the race taking place much later than it did last year, we hope the weather might be kinder to us and of course the fans are always fantastic so all in all I'm pretty positive in thinking that we'll able to achieve some great results."
Michel Fabrizio (9th in championship, 161 points)
Roman rider Fabrizio is hopeful that the return from the summer break signifies the end to the arm-pump problems he has suffered from at several rounds this season.
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"The break definitely feels like it's been beneficial, giving me time to rest my arm, recuperate and get back in form ready for the final push. I hope to fair a lot better this weekend than I did before the holidays at Brands, as I was disappointed with my results there and frustrated that the pain in my arm was once again the main problem. I want to accumulate as many points as possible before the close of the season so I'm more focused than ever as we head back to the UK. After the wintry conditions we had at Donington early last year, let's cross our fingers that the weather there in September is a little better!"
Name: Donington Park
Circuit length: 4.023 km
Pole position: right
Corners left: 6
Corners right: 6
Race distance: 23 laps = 92.529 km
Fastest lap: Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1'31.575 (2007)
Superpole: Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) 1'30.370 (2007)
Race 1: 1. Toseland (Honda); 2. Corser (Yamaha); 3. Biaggi (Suzuki)
Race 2: 1. Haga (Yamaha); 2. Biaggi (Suzuki); 3. Corser (Yamaha)