Michael Fabrizio on a Xerox Ducati as the factory rider of the Reds in 2009 – the Italian has just provided a big surprise for the 2021 season. For more about the earlier years of WorldSBK, see our history and the current series on the history of the Superbike World Championship (© WorldSBK

When fairy tales come true – Michel Fabrizio’s comeback

Towards the end of last year we were still concerned about the meager field in the WorldSSP 600. There had certainly never been so few mentions as of December before the corona pandemic. But in addition to sad reports such as the withdrawal of Benro Racing from the Netherlands, there were also hopeful signals. For example Ten Kate’s return to the Supersport World Championship with Dominique Aegerter. Also recently the confirmation that Thomas Gradinger is returning to the paddock thanks to the DK Motorsport Team. But now came the absolute bang, with a prominent name from Italy: Michel Fabrizio, the former Ducati works driver in WorldSBK will comeback 5 years after he left the Paddock!

The winners’ podium in Monza after the 2nd race in 2009 from the left, Michel Fabrizio (P2, Xerox Ducati), winner Ben Spies (Sterilgarda Yamaha) and Ryuichi Kiyonari (P3, Castrol Honda) – now the Italian is celebrating a sensational comeback as WSSP 600 drivers (© WorldSBK).

Cooperation MotoZoo Racing with Puccetti Racing and Kawasaki

The Italian drove his best season in 2009 in WorldSBK for the Ducati Xerox Team. The Roman had achieved 3rd place in the World Championship with 382 points, 3 wins, 15 podiums, 1 pole position and 6 fastest race laps. Four years earlier he was fifth in the WorldSSP 600 World Championship. Now, after his last guest appearance at the WSBK in 2015, he is celebrating a highly regarded comeback. A brand new team was created in collaboration between MotoZoo Racing from Fabio Uccelli and Kawasaki Puccetti Racing from Manuel Puccetti. The young Japanese Shogo Kawasaki will compete alongside Michel Fabrizio.

From left Fabio Uccelli, Michael Fabrizio and Manuel Puccetti, the most important heads of the biggest surprise so far for the 2021 season (© WorldSBK).

An unexpected addition indeed to the WorldSSP paddock
The paddock of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship will thus be supplemented with two more drivers and a new team. Fabrizio competed in 218 WorldSBK races between 2006 and 2015, collecting four wins and 35 podiums during that time. The Roman celebrated his fourth and last victory in Kyalami. Michel Fabrizio will share the box with the young Japanese Shogo Kawasaki. Kawasaki competed for Team Motozoo in Italy in 2019, but was unable to drive in Europe in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with the Italian veteran, he is definitely an unexpected asset to the WorldSSP paddock.

What should go wrong with the name Shogo Kawasaki on a Kawasaki ZX-6R in WorldSSP 2021? (© WorldSBK).

The 18-year-old Kawasaki on his World Championship entry: “I am very happy to continue to drive with Motozoo Racing. I had a very good 2019 season with them in the CIV SS 300 and we got along very well. Now I’m riding again with Fabio Uccelli’s team and no less in the World Supersport Challenge with a great motorcycle like the Kawasaki. This will be my first European championship season and I will still have a lot to learn but I am sure we can do well! “

Michel Fabrizio (Xerox Ducati) on the road for the Reds works team from 2008 to 2010 and before he got a tenth place in MotoGP at the 2007 Sachsenring. Many are curious to see how the Italian will fare on his comeback in the WSSP (© WorldSBK).

Fabrizio on his comeback: “I am very happy to be racing again and to do so with the Puccetti Racing Motozoo team, a winning project with competitive bikes and experienced technicians. After a five year hiatus, I’m returning to the championship. But not only am I physically fit, I’ve also started a training program, which means I’ll be in perfect shape at the start of the championship. I don’t have any specific goals, other than giving everything and fighting for the best possible result in every race. Now I can’t wait to get on my ZX-6R and adapt my riding style to my new bike. I thank Fabio Uccelli and Manuel Puccetti for this opportunity and all our sponsors who allow me to return to the championship. “

Michel Fabrizio (on the left) on the podium in Kyalami (South Africa) 2009, together with “Nitro Nori” Haga and Jonathan Rea. For more about the earlier years of WorlSBK see our constantly growing history (© WorldSBK).

Provisional calendar for the 2021 season

The two unconfirmed rounds will probably be communicated in a few weeks at the earliest and Phillip Island may be completely eliminated. Due to the corona pandemic, many European races can be expected again and therefore San Juan and the not yet completed Mandalika Circuit are definitely on shaky feet. It is quite possible that there will be double races again, which also applies to MotoGP.