Michel Fabrizio didn't enjoy the best start to his home event after crashing in practice for this weekend's World Superbike action at Monza.
The Alstare Suzuki rider lost control at the revised first chicane but recovered to go 11th quickest in first qualifying, 0.828s slower than pacesetter Leon Haslam.
Fabrizio later admitted the crash was down to rider error as he got to grips with the revised layout.
“I am not happy, but I am not unhappy with how things went today. The first chicane’s profile has changed and now we enter and exit it much faster than before. Because of that, we have to find new braking points for the entrance. When I crashed this morning, it was because I was going about six kilometres per hour faster than my previous lap and just lost the front end going in. I didn’t hurt myself at all, and the damage to the bike was mainly cosmetic – fairing, handlebars and footpegs, so there wasn’t too much work for my mechanics.”
Alstare Suzuki are one of a number of teams trying upgrades to try to close the gap to Althea Ducati, who've won four of the six races so far this year. Fabrizio was cautious when evaluating the new parts on the GSX-R1000.
“This afternoon, we tried some new Ohlins forks and at the end my feeling about them is so-so: I need more time to understand them and get comfortable but, at the moment, I can’t say if they are better or not. Tomorrow morning we will put the new forks on one bike and the old forks on the other and run back-to-back tests. Then we’ll decide which ones to continue to work with.”
With a second covering the top 13 riders in first qualifying, Fabrizio is remaining positive about his chances this weekend, and is hoping to bring some cheer to his home supporters tomorrow.
“Although I am 11th, the times are pretty close and things will definitely change tomorrow. I am always happy to race in my home country and hope that tomorrow’s Qualifying and Superpole go well and I get on the first two rows of the grid.”