Michel Fabrizio is hoping to challenge the front runners in Sunday's World Superbike races after qualifying seventh at Monza.

The Alstare Suzuki rider made comfortable progress through the first two Superpole sessions, but like all of his rivals, had no answer to the blistering pace of Max Biaggi.

With the first chicane expected to produce some fierce racing on Sunday, Fabrizio felt it was hugely important to be as close to the front as possible.

“My target for Superpole was to finish with a place on the first two rows of the grid and I achieved that, so I am pretty happy. It is so important to be on the first two rows of the grid here because, although the front straight is quite long, the first chicane is very tight and it’s better not to get held up going into it. If that happens, it is difficult to make up the ground again and challenge the leaders.”

After trying new Ohlins forks on Friday amongst other upgrades, the Italian took the decision to return to his previous set-up for Superpole, and it reaped rewards.

“I went back to the forks and suspension I knew and I’m sure that was the right choice for me today. I was able to push hard and not worry about trying to understand anything new. I used my two qualifying tyres in Superpole 1 and 2 so did not have any super sticky rubber in Superpole 3. If I had a qualifier in Superpole 3, then maybe I could’ve finished on the front row of the grid.”

The high speed straights are sure to produce more spectacular racing, and Fabrizio is confident he will be in the thick of the action.

“But, as I said, I am pretty happy with my result today and I am looking forward to tomorrow because I know that I will be able to challenge the leaders right from the start. It’s going to be two tough races and I’m sure that slipstreaming will play an important part. I don’t think anybody will clear off, so the last lap is going to be a tactical battle, a big fight; and a lot of fun!”