May 5, 2011
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Fabien Foret (99).
Fabien Foret and his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Florian Marino, are in Monza in Italy this weekend for round four of the 2011 World Supersport championship.
After crashing heavily at both opening rounds, Monza marks the first race weekend that Foret has been able to approach with anything near full fitness since the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia at the end of February, when he crashed heavily in warm-up.
After another crash ruled the Frenchman out of round two at Donington Park, UK, the 2002 champion finally got his season started at Assen in the Netherlands nearly three weeks ago where he took second place in a crash-strewn race, which saw his team-mate taken out of what appeared to be a possible podium finish.
It is Florian Marino's debut season in the championship and the 18-year-old from Cannes in France was bitterly disappointed to miss out at Assen after being taken out in the second restart after two earlier red flags.
However, Marino is determined at least to try and repeat the podium finish he scored at the historic Monza circuit in last season's 600 Superstock championship, in which he eventually finished as runner-up.
I still have a few little sharp pains, but the back is generally OK now and is actually more comfortable when I'm on the bike. The fingers are also better and the one I damaged at Donington is even nearly the right shape now! I'm pretty excited to ride here because I'm in the best condition to race that I've been in this season. I think that after May because we don't go to America I will be 100%, but even this weekend I don't expect to have any issues with my body. We'll see for sure tomorrow, but I like Monza and the Ten Kate technicians can normally produce quite a fast bike for the circuit, so I'm looking forwa rd to the weekend.
I will try to improve again here at Monza and do well for the team to continue in the same way as Assen when things definitely were better. I got on the podium here last year in the Superstock race but I was actually in front as we came out of Parabolica on the last lap. I ran wide and off the track but I still was third, so I hope for at least the same on Sunday. Luckily I got no serious injuries in the crash at Assen, which was really disappointing as I felt strong and thought that a podium was possible. I hope I can have another chance here at Monza.
Ronald ten Kate team manager
For the first time this year, Fabien will be almost fully fit here at Monza so we hope that he can continue with the momentum that he generated with his podium finish at Assen. Unfortunately, the chance of a similar result was taken away from Florian and it woul d have been great to get his first podium at our home race. However, he has shown that he has the potential to run at the front and we'll be working hard to make that possible for both riders this weekend.