Michel Fabrizio fought off the effects of a flu virus to go eighth fastest in first qualifying for round five of the World Superbike Championship in the United States.

The Alstare Suzuki should have been entering this weekend in high spirits after getting his first podium finish of the season at Monza two weeks ago. But the Italian arrived in America with a high fever and was still suffering from low energy levels when he took to the track on Saturday.

“Before I left Europe, both my children had Flu or something like that and very kindly they passed it on to me! I felt very rough when I arrived in USA – my eyes were all bloodshot, my throat was sore and my nose was bunged up” he explained. “My limbs felt all floppy and all I wanted to do was lie down and rest. But after some medication, I began to feel better and I was able to get on the bike without thinking too much about my condition. I managed some decent lap times and, all things considering, I am content with my position.”

The GSX-R1000 machine has been making strides toward the front of the field in recent weeks and was amongst the faster bikes at Monza. Fabrizio was pleased with its' performance on Saturday but with rain expected for Superpole, that may be irrelevant.

“The bike felt OK today and tomorrow we’ll just keep on trying to improve it. The track was a little dusty in some places today, but I’m not sure how it is going to be if tomorrow’s forecast is correct and it rains. I don’t think we’ve ever run round here in the wet, so if it does rain, it’s going to be a new experience for all of us. I hope it doesn’t rain and I also hope that my condition improves and feel a lot better tomorrow.”