Spies closes gap at the top with double triumph at Donington
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) pulled off another amazing double triumph in the ninth round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship in front of 61,000 spectators at Donington Park. The Texan has now reduced the 48 point gap at the top of the table to 14 from Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who crashed in race 2, picking up a broken vertebra in the process. Haga’s Italian team-mate Michel Fabrizio was third in race 2 and is now 51 points behind. Aprilia had a good first race, with Max Biaggi second at the finish, while the best of the numerous British platoon present at Donington was Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), who finished second to Spies in race 2.
Spies continued to steamroller his way to the wins in World Superbike as he took his ninth victory of the year in the first race at Donington.
After setting his eighth pole in qualifying, the Texan rider dominated the 23-lap race but was shadowed all the way by Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing). The Italian ran faultlessly in second until the final lap, when Ben upped the ante to power to the chequered flag, but Biaggi also encountered a fuel problem a couple of hundred metres from the flag and risked losing out on second. This was Biaggi’s first podium since Qatar.
Third went to points leader Haga, who limited the damage in a race where he was not in a position to challenge for the win.
In the all-British battle for fourth place, Haslam got the better of Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati).
Aprilia’s excellent performance was completed by a sixth place for Shinya Nakano.
Home idol and Misano winner Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) could only finish in seventh, ahead of John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda).
Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had a gear change problem and could only finish 12th, while Ruben Xaus scored one point for BMW.
Ben Spies: “It was a tough race for us, Max was there the whole time and we were both able to do quick laps. I got a bit of a gap then made a couple of mistakes and he got back on me. The last three laps I rode as hard as I could, we got down to the 30s, then I couldn’t hear Max coming into the chicane on the last lap so knew something was wrong and I took the last corners easy. We can’t be too conservative now, we have to claw back and get a whole lot of points in a couple of races.”
Max Biaggi: “I am very happy with this result after a very hard decision we made in free practice and qualifying. Yesterday we found a way to go fast and we made the right choice in tyres and the balance was correct. In the warm-up we had some problems but for the race we fixed most of them. Just on the last lap at the last chicane we had some trouble, I don’t know what, the bike just stopped and then went back again in the last few metres before the flag. I think I deserved second!”
Noriyuki Haga: “I tried to do my best but the front two guys were very fast. I tried to catch up for the victory but I had to settle for third position. Of course during the laps I tried to push and catch them up but it was quite difficult. Our package was quite different but for the next race we try to change something to improve the riding of the bike.”
Spies also dominated the second race, but this time without any pressure from his rivals.
The Yamaha man immediately pulled away at the start to pick up a seven second lead, which he administered easily to pick up his tenth win of the year.
Spies’ double coincided with a disaster for Haga, who crashed out of second place on lap 5 while trying to make up ground on the leader. The Japanese rider was taken to hospital in Derby with a fractured vertebra and other injuries.
Race 2 saw a British rider on the podium, thanks to Haslam, who held off Fabrizio. With the outcome of this race, the Italian keeps alive his title chances.
Byrne put on another good show, finishing fourth ahead of fellow Brit Tom Sykes.
Xaus again scored points for BMW, this time with a positive ninth place.
Both Aprilia riders crashed out, Biaggi suffering a hairline crack in his right foot in the process, but remounting to finish 21st, while John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda) did not make it to the start of race 2, the still-injured American totally exhausted after his race 1 efforts
Ben Spies: “It was a picture perfect weekend, I know Haga had a big crash and hope he’s OK. That’s not the way you want to do it but you’ve got to capitalize when things go wrong. The track was definitely hot in the second race and a little bit slick so we made some changes to the bike that made it better. Fortunately we didn’t have to push to the absolute limit but it all worked great today.”
Leon Haslam: “We’ve been struggling for the past few rounds with unknown circuits and I really wanted to get on that podium today. I feel good, obviously feel sorry for Haga because I was pushing him hard and I was pretty happy to get second. In the first race I was really suffering from chatter but everyone in the team has been behind me all weekend so a big thanks to them.”
Michel Fabrizio: “Today Ben was very fast and it was impossible to catch him. In the first race I had a problem with the gear change, while in the second I had a great battle with Haslam. I am very happy with the result, but very sorry for Haga and his crash.”
Coventry man Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) had a terrific homecoming race at the Donington circuit as he shrugged off the broken ankle he picked up in qualifying to take a dominant fourth win of the year.
His chief rival in the title battle Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), together with Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Provec) tried hard in the early stages, but the Irishman crashed at the Melbourne Hairpin and the Spaniard had to take second best after Crutchlow upped the pace in the final part.
Laverty rejoined and worked his way back up the field from 22nd place to fifth overall.
It was a great result for veteran Australian Garry McCoy, who gave Triumph its first ever podium in Supersport.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) could only finish fourth and is now 64 points away from the top of the standings, while team-mate Andrew Pitt fared even worse to finish in tenth.
Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda) scored his best result of the year in seventh behind Barry Veneman (George White Ten Kate Honda).
|SBK Race 1
1 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 34’57.230
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0’07.156
3 Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0’10.968
4 Leon Haslam Honda GBR 0’18.843
5 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’19.125
6 Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 0’21.286
7 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’23.644
8 John Hopkins Honda USA 0’32.849
9 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’32.904
10 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 0’33.192
11 Carlos Checa Honda ESP 0’34.535
12 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0’35.093
13 Leon Camier Yamaha GBR 0’35.441
14 Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 0’39.034
15 Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 0’41.067
— Day 1 Results
— Day 2 Results
|SBK Race 2
1 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 35’14.788
2 Leon Haslam Honda GBR 0’06.622
3 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0’06.816
4 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0’07.349
5 Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 0’08.145
6 Leon Camier Yamaha GBR 0’13.463
7 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 0’15.751
8 James Ellison Yamaha GBR 0’16.837
9 Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 0’22.891
10 Simon Andrews Kawasaki GBR 0’30.347
11 Lorenzo Lanzi Ducati ITA 0’30.622
12 Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 0’31.562
13 Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0’32.148
14 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 0’32.607
15 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’32.806
1. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 308
2. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 294
3. Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 257
4. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 177
5. Leon Haslam Honda GBR 167
6. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 155
7. Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 141
8. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 115
9. Carlos Checa Honda ESP 114
10. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 113
11. Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 113
12. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 94
13. Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 81
14. Regis Laconi Ducati FRA 77
15. Max Neukirchner Suzuki GER 75
|FIM Supersport World Championship
Kenan Sofuoglu (H
1 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 34’15.876
2 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 0’05.391
3 Garry McCoy Triumph AUS 0’14.918
4 Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 0’22.248
5 Eugene Laverty Honda GBR 0’37.054
6 Barry Veneman Honda NED 0’39.079
7 Gianluca Vizziello Honda ITA 0’39.978
8 Gianluca Nannelli Triumph ITA 0’42.733
9 Danilo Dell’omo Honda ITA 0’43.030
10 Andrew Pitt Honda AUS 0’47.422
11 James Westmorland Triumph GBR 0’50.207
12 Patrick Vostarek Honda ITA 0’50.474
13 Kev Coghlan Honda GBR 0’50.763
14 Hudson Kennaugh Yamaha RSA 0’58.147
15 Michele Pirro Yamaha ITA 0’59.756
1. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 185
2. Eugene Laverty Honda GBR 157
3. Kenan Sofuoglu Honda TUR 121
4. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 106
5. Andrew Pitt Honda AUS 79
6. Anthony West Honda AUS 75
7. Fabien Foret Yamaha FRA 63
8. Mark Aitchison Honda AUS 61
9. Garry McCoy Triumph AUS 55
10. Michele Pirro Yamaha ITA 49
11. Massimo Roccoli Honda ITA 40
12. Barry Veneman Honda NED 40
13. Katsuaki Fujiwara Kawasaki JPN 39
14. Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 38
15. Gianluca Nannelli Triumph ITA 31
Yamaha World Superbike rider Ben Spies made it a clean sweep at Donington today, blowing away the competition to take both races with decisive and well earned wins. Race one saw the American rider take an early lead, closely followed by Aprilia rider Max Biaggi. No matter how hard Biaggi tried he was unable to close the final gap to challenge Spies and settled for second at the flag. Race two saw Spies again take an early lead, repeating the performance of Miller as he gained nearly a second a lap as he pulled away until he had over a 7.4 second advantage. He ran a lonely race at the front to claim his second win of the day, a separate class to the following pack.
Team-mate Tom Sykes had a less than perfect start to the first of his home races. Coming in hot to the hairpin on the ninth lap he braked hard over the bumpy surface and lost the front of the bike, crashing out. Race two saw a good start from the British rider who despite having issues with the front brakes managed to lay down consistent fast lap after lap, towards the end of the race he was the fastest man on the circuit and the only one to touch under the 1.32 mark in the closing stages. As others crashed out and Sykes rode faster he made it to fifth position at the flag.
After a serious crash ruled Haga out of race two, the day’s wins brings Ben Spies up to 294 points in the championship, now just 14 points from the top. Tom Sykes takes 11 points from his second race, keeping him in seventh position, just 14 points from nearest rival Max Biaggi.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1st)
“It was a picture perfect weekend. It was a tough race, Max was there the whole time but we were able to do quick laps to stay ahead, the last three laps I rode as hard as I could just to make sure of the win. In the second race I knew Nori had a big crash and I hope he’s ok. It’s not the way we want to win it but you have to take the points when you can. It was a good second race for us though. The track was hot and a bit slick so we made some changes to the bike which made it better from race one. It was a good job for Leon, getting on the podium at his home round was great, I know how that feels. It was tough being out on my own, I had to focus lap to lap to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I can’t thank the Yamaha guys enough we changed a lot of things around and they came and delivered me two really good bikes to win on.”
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (DNF, 5th)
“I found a good race setting in warm up this morning and was ready for the first race. I was very confident with my pace in the race but frustrated with my row three start. I was just breaking into a rhythm and unfortunately arrived into the last corner just a bit too hot and lost the front over the bumps, I couldn’t believe it as it was my first DNF of the year so I was looking to improve in race two. I had big issues with a lack of braking which held me up. I’m really gutted as I think it cost me a podium, and capped off a bad weekend for the points. I really thought we could come away from the weekend in fifth. On the plus side I think we’ve seen some more of the old Tom Sykes this weekend, consistent in practice and qualifying and fast and consistent in race two. I’m hoping to take this to Brno and make it work there.”
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“Myself and the team want express our best wishes for Nori, we hope to see him back racing soon. The weekend has been really successful for us, a double win, Superpole and valuable championship points. We have reduced the gap down to 14 points. Ben rode incredibly well in both races, he was faultless all weekend in every session. Tom definitely got his confidence back on the bike which was really important for us, and only missed the podium by a few tenths of a second. We go to Imola now to learn the circuit and to prepare for the next race in Brno. A big thank you to the team who have worked very hard to make our weekend’s racing success possible.”
Yamaha World Supersport rider Cal Crutchlow made sure the British fans got what they came for today as he aced the World Supersport race, leading from the fourth lap till the chequered flag. The win never looked in doubt as Crutchlow laid down lap after lap with a consistently fast race pace. He takes away with him not only the fastest lap of the race with a record of 1’32.449 but also the Best lap record from earlier in the weekend with a 1’31.701. Arch rival for the championship Eugene Laverty fell early in the race, and although he rejoined could not manage better than fifth at the end.
Crutchlow’s team-mate Fabien Foret had put his head down to work hard from his less than perfect grid position and had managed to battle up to fifth spot when three laps from the end a technical failure resulted in the Frenchman having to retire from the race, tantalizingly close to the finish.
Crutchlow leaves Donington having extended his championship lead to 185 points, 28 points ahead of rival Laverty as they head to the last race in Brno before the summer break. Foret remains in seventh position in the standings on 63 points, 12 points behind sixth place rider Anthony West.
Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha World Supersport Team (1st)
“it was great to come here in front of the home fans at Donington. I thought we could have a good go between me and Eugene but it wasn’t to be, unfortunately he fell off. All credit to him for getting back up to fifth. It was a very hard race for me, it’s pretty mentally challenging when you’re out there on your own. It was one of those races where you just try to keep your composure and reel the laps off. All credit to Yamaha they put a fantastic package in front of me this weekend. I got injured in the first lap of free practice which didn’t make it easy for us but we’ve done a good job in the end!”
Fabien Foret, Yamaha World Supersport Team (DNF)
“What a frustrating day for me! I didn’t have the best position to start from on the grid but I put my head down and worked really hard to work through some of the guys. When I got to fifth I could see the gap between myself and Sofuoglu was too big to close so I just focused on putting in fast consistent laps. Unfortunately I developed a problem just a few laps from the end and there was nothing I could do. I’m thinking about Brno now and hoping to have a better race day.”
Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha World Supersport Team Manager
“It was again a spectacular race of course although very different from Misano. I think for Cal it was hard to know that Eugene had crashed, although he did come back to get fifth, giving Cal a 28 point lead in the standings which is fantastic. We are glad that Eugene is not injured but the bigger difference does make our lives a bit easier. It’s a pity that Fabien suffered from a technical fault, the bike stopped which is tough as he was going well in fifth and it would have been good to bring both riders home. A Big thank you to the team who have worked really hard this weekend as always to make it possible for Cal to go out and win.”
A second place finish in the second race of the day for Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was the single best Honda rider performance at Donington, in a day when the championship fight became a closer contest at the top and in the middle of the championship table.
Ben Spies won the first race from pole, with Max Biaggi and Noriyuki Haga behind, but a fight through from a third row start of ninth saw Haslam finish fourth at his first home race.
Better was to come in race two, as Haslam capitalised on the early opportunity to chase Spies, and he resisted strong pressure from the fast group in close attendance over the final laps. Four riders all finished within 1.5 seconds of second place.
Spies won the second race by a clear margin once again, but Championship leader Noriyuki Haga crashed out at Coppice, and was taken to hospital in Derby with vertebrae, scapula and right wrist injures.
In the championship fight Haga now has 308, Spies 294 and Fabrizio 257. Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) has 177 points, Haslam 167.
Rea, who qualified 12th in Superpole, found his set-up less able to handle the slower corners at Donington, and thus he was a fighting seventh in race one, but fell at Goddards in the second race, remounting to finish 15th.
After being unable to race at Misano last weekend, John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) got through practice in 11th place in Superpole, then rode to an impressive eighth in race one, before pain and lack of movement from his injured hip caused him to withdraw from race two.
Former British Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) was off the podium in his return to his old adopted home, going tenth in the opener, and finishing seventh in race two, 15 seconds behind the winner. He had been only 20th in qualifying, making his two races tales of rapid recovery.
Spaniard Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) was a second row qualifier, but was one of a whole raft of crashers in race two, only scoring a 11th place finish in race one.
Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea CBR1000RR) made good progress in only his second ever WSB meeting, just missing points in race one by one place, but posting 12th in race two. He had only been 24th on the starting grid.
Vittorio Iannuzzo (Squadra Corse Italia Honda CBR1000RR) failed to finish either race, and was only 31st fastest in qualifying.
Sofuoglu Fourth As Strong Laverty Recover Keeps Him In The Running
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) replicated his fourth place qualifying result in today’s 22-lap World Supersport race and in doing so kept himself third in the championship fight.
The Turkish rider headed up a quartet of fast Honda riders at Donington, the first of which was second place qualifier Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR).
Laverty’s race was an incredibly dramatic affair, as he fell from third position on lap three, kept his machine running and restarted, in 26th place.
His main championship rival Cal Crutchlow was soon leading a race he would eventually win. Laverty’s incredible ride through the pack to fifth puts him 28 points behind Crutchlow, with five rounds still remaining.
Barry Veneman took his Honda to sixth, just ahead of a resurgent Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) who qualified only 22nd but rode with supreme confidence to take seventh, after some radical changes to his machine in morning warm-up. It was his best finish of the year.
Another tough raceday for 2008 champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) saw him start from 15th on the grid and finish tenth, experiencing problems with his machine backing into corners.
Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) retired after qualifying 13th, crashing on lap nine. Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) also crashed out of contention, while pushing for a top six finish.
A promising weekend for Mark Aitchison (Althea Honda CBR600RR) was ended prematurely when he clashed with Katsuaki Fujiwara on lap four. He had been fifth in qualifying and fifth in the race when his crash put him out. Flavio Gentile (Althea Honda CBR600RR) was 17th in his second race for his team.
After the Donington weekend there is an official test at Imola for WSS and WSB riders, at Imola on 15 and 16 July, then the next round is at Brno, Czech Republic, between 24 and 26 July.
Jonathan Rea: “In the first race we lost five seconds to the Haslam and Byrne battle at the start and at the end of the race we were five seconds behind. I needed to be more aggressive in the second race start and it worked out; I was fifth or sixth. Then I lost the front, and looking at the telemetry I had arrived at the corner literally only a couple of kmph faster than before. We struggled in that slow sector of the racetrack all weekend.”
Leon Haslam: “There was a slower pace in race two and my problem in each race was chatter. In race two I got a little bit better start and learned a thing or two that we were struggling with. I was just catching Biaggi as he went down so it would have been another fight for third or fourth place in that race. But to hold off Fabrizio and Byrne and take second, after missing out in race one, I was pretty happy.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “The first race was very difficult after the problems we have had during the weekend, so we made some changes to the rear for race two. In fact, it was quite a big change and we altered three things with the rear shock. On the sighting lap it felt quite OK but during the race it was better but not perfect. I hope that the test at Imola will allow us to fully test these new parts to get a better setting for the bike so I can make better results for the rest of the season.”
Carlos Checa: “I was able to ride a little faster because of the changes we made after race one, but I just lost the front going into Redgate. It is a shame because the changes we made were not quite enough. I have hurt my ribs as well so I am going to get myself checked-out.”
John Hopkins: “I got off the line really good but just poked around on the first lap and was not as aggressive as I normally am. As the adrenaline kicked in I picked my way up to gain as many positions as possible. Halfway the race the pain kicked in and I struggled to move on the bike. It is a good result for the condition I was in today. Even though I was in a lot of pain today, it was the best race I have had in the last two years. I have had a lot of fun on the bike again, and that’s when you start getting faster.”
Matthieu Lagrive: “I was fighting with good riders like Lanzi, Kagayama, but I do not have the experience yet to really compete with them. I am OK, for me the team was really good, the settings were good and we know which direction to go in to have a top ride next time as well. I prefer to finish the first couple of Superbike races to make sure all is OK and when I grow in confidence I will try to push more.”
WSS Rider Comments
Eugene Laverty: “My rear wheel spun up, came round and I slid off. This was a problem we found yesterday in practice and thought we had cured it but the temperatures are different today and that might have made the difference. I got back on and gave it my all to get back in the points from 26th. There were a lot of yellow flags and after passing people I had to let them go through again before taking the position back, which made it tough. I am now 28-points behind Cal in the Championship but that’s a lot better than recording a DNF. Donington Park hasn’t been kind to us but it could have been a lot worse.”
Kenan Sofuoglu: “I am really disappointed and we had so many different problems. No grip in the exit, no grip in the entry, feels like from the back, and we had some electronics problems as well. It is not normal what we are doing now. I see how other riders can open the throttle exiting corners and I cannot believe how they do it.”
Andrew Pitt: “Things are not working at the moment, as we’re backing into corners and chattering. We didn’t have chatter problems in practice and we had really bad chatter in the race so something was not right. Every time I ran into a turn we missed it. It was really hard work to hang onto that and only finish tenth.”
Anthony West: “On the first lap I almost highsided coming out of the chicane, and landed back on the seat. A few went past me and I got past them again then started to catch Aitchison and Fujiwara. I wasn’t pushing too hard but going into the hairpin I lost the front. We have been running higher pressure on the front tyre and it has been working but as the track temperature went up I think it got too hot. We need the next test in Imola.”
Mark Aitchison: “I almost ran into Eugene’s bike when he fell and I lost some time. Because I had lost some ground I tried to bridge it back and then at the Old Hairpin Fujiwara hit me and that was that. It’s frustrating because we could have been in a good position today.”
Gianluca Vizziello: “We had a lot of problems in the team for set-up this weekend but we made a big change in morning warm-up and big change in results. Good work, great job from the guys and I really had confidence to ride like I wanted. My best position this year so for Brno a top five and Imola a podium!”
Miguel Praia: “I lost the front of my bike going into Redgate corner. It is frustrating as I had just got into 11th and was pushing hard to get to the group in front that was fighting for sixth. I needed to go for the better result, I felt confident and my Parkalgar Honda was excellent.
It is a shame but we will learn from this and be stronger at the next round.”
Flavio Gentile: “We solved quite all the problems we have had during the qualifying and so my race was better than we can image. I had quite a good start and my pace was consistent. I think seventeenth was the best I could do, due to my bad position on the starting grid. I want to thank all the technicians in my team for the great job.”
With the third place finish achieved in Race 1 at Donington Park today, Noriyuki Haga becomes the third rider in Superbike history to have obtained 100 podiums. Unfortunately in race 2 Haga was victim of a serious crash in which he has suffered a fracture of one of the spinal vertebrae. He has been transferred this afternoon to Derby hospital where the medical team will further evaluate the situation.
In the first race Noriyuki made a strong start and found himself in third position behind Spies and Biaggi. When the leading two began to pull away the Japanese rider did all he could to stick with them but the gap increased and Noriyuki rode a lonely last few laps. His team-mate Michel lost a few position at the start and found it subsequently difficult to make up the lost ground, mainly due to a technical problem with the gears. Losing further positions in the final phase of the race, Fabrizio was however able to collect three points, finishing in twelfth place.
In Race 2 Nakano and Rea crashed out early on living Fabrizio a small advantage; in the initial laps the Italian rider progressed from ninth to third position. Despite Byrne’s defensive riding, Michel finally managed to pass him aftger nineteen laps, maintaining second position as far as the checkered flag.
Noriyuki made another good start and was in second place by the end of the first lap, but on the fourth lap he suffered a bad fall while entering Coppice Corner. He was immediately transferred to the track’s medical centre where the doctors declared a fracture of one of his vertebrae. At this point it was decided to move him by helicopter to Derby hospital where he will receive further medical attention.
Noriyuki ha finished on the podium in thirteen of the eighteen races run so far, Michel in eleven; with today’s results, the Ducati Xerox team continue their 100% podium record.
Noriyuki is only the third ever rider in Superbike history to score 100 podiums; only Corser with 128 and Fogarty with 109 have achieved more. Of the 100 podiums, 39 have been race wins.
Haga continues to lead the championship, holding 308 points ahead of Spies with 294 and Fabrizio with 257. Ducati leads the constructors classification with 383 points to Yamaha’s 337.
Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 –3rd, Race 2 – DNF)
Race 1: “I’m very happy to have made the podium today because we knew it would be a very difficult weekend. I am proud to have reached the 100 podium mark! At the start of Race 1 I did all I could to stick with Max and Ben but, even though I was pushing, today they seemed to have a small advantage and I was unable to do better than third.”
Race 2: Haga, after today’s accident, was unavailable for comment at time of print.
Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – 12th, Race 2 – 3rd)
“Race 1 was very difficult, I had a problem with the gears and because of this I lost several positions. I couldn’t do much to improve the situation and in the end I could only bring home three points. Before Race 2 we decided to go out with the second bike. I again made a bad start but immediately started to work to regain ground. I spent most of the race battling it out against Byrne and Haslam, just managing to pass Shakey near the end. I’m happy with my race 2 result but I am of course sorry for Nori. I saw the accident and it reminded me of Troy’s crash in the same place two years ago, both serious.”
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Ruben Xaus took a superb ninth place in the second Superbike World Championship race at Donington Park this afternoon. In sunny conditions, Ruben fought his way up through the field from the fourth row of the grid to take his third top ten finish of the season. This followed his 15th place in race one and showed that he and the team have recovered from their recent poor results. Ruben’s team mate Troy did not enjoy such a good day. A crash in race one, when he found a false neutral, and general lack of grip meant a real struggle in race two. But despite the grip problems, Troy kept going and managed to finish the race, albeit outside the points.
American Ben Spies (Yamaha) won both 23-lap races today and closed the gap on series leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) to just fourteen points. And with Haga injured in race two, and facing a possible lengthy layoff due to a back injury, Spies should be able to take advantage of the situation in the next few races. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) took runner-up spot in race one, with Haga third and and Leon Haslam (Honda) fourth. Second to Spies in a race two was Haslam, with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) third and Shane Byrne (Ducati) fourth.
Ruben – Race 1: 15th, Race 2: 9th
That was a tough weekend and I really know that I have done two hard races today. At the moment, the bike is very demanding physically and mentally and it requires a lot of concentration. I am happy to get a top ten finish, but I would be more happy if Troy and I would be getting top six finishes for sure. Today our bike was good in the fast corners, but we lost out on the slow ones. My riding style is more aggressive than Troy and for that you have to be 100% fit. Troy is not 100% fit yet, so he is having a harder time getting the bike round the track at the speeds he would like to do. I see positive signs ahead and I am looking forward to the next two tests.
Troy – Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 20th
For me, it was a terrible day and not such a good weekend. All weekend, I have being having a problem because of the lack of grip and today it was as bad as it has ever been. The bike felt hard to ride today and I got a lot of wheelspin and found it hard to stop it wheelieing. In race one, the bike just jumped out of gear when I tried to backshift from third to second and I was forced into the gravel and had to lay the bike down. Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself at all, but it was an unnecessary crash. Race two was all about grip, or lack of it. But I kept going, even though I was losing places, because I wanted to give the team as much telemetry info as possible.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
This weekend has given us a lot of surprises. We were surprised that the weather was not as expected, or forecasted. Happily the conditions were dry for both races, which means that we have a huge package of information and data to take back to our workshops. Regarding the results: we know where we are in the rankings. We know what technical issues we have to improve and we will address them for the next tests. I am happy that Ruben managed a top ten and would like to compliment Troy on bringing the bike home in race two despite difficult circumstances. We don’t have any deep disappointment this weekend. We realise that we have a lot of work to do and we need to keep improving every time Ruben and Troy go out on the bike.
Team ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing scores a great result in Triumph’s home round with as Garry McCoy puts on great performance tot take the first podium of the brand in modern era. It is a historic result for the English manufacturer in their second World Supersport season.
The Australian rider got a good start and took fourth place, a position he maintained until halfway into the race when he managed to overtake Sofuoglu. He then buit a substantial advantage and finished on the podium. Nannelli did well too as he finished eighth although he jumped to twentieth place after the first lap. He did however pull off a great recovery and after six laps he was already eleventh. He then engaged in a duel with Veneman, Pitt, Vizziello e Dell’Omo for the sixth place. The tyres eventually worn off in the final part of the race and the Italian passed the chequered flag in eighth place thus improving the Misano result. After today’s results, McCoy is ninth in the riders’ standings while Nannelli remains fifteenth.
GARRY McCOY | Triumph Daytona 675 | 3rd : “It feels great to be the first rider to score a podium result with a Triumph. I’ve been collaborating with the English manufacturer for two seasons now, but with Giuliano Rovelli’s team only since the last round. We didn’t start the season on the right foot but now we’re score great results. I knew that sooner or later I would ride a great race. I have to thank the entire team for a good job done on the machine which is getting better and better. Now we broke the ice but there is still a long way to go in the championship”.
GIULIANO ROVELLI – TEAM MANAGER: “We scored a great result after setting up a great team who worked hard on this project. Garry did the rest today but everybody did a great job. This is the first podium for Triumph but it’s a first for me as well and it’s really an indescribable feeling. I asked Garry to finish the race before the others because I had a plane to catch and he almost made it…”.
— Minor Classes
After four second places, Xavier Simeon scored his first win of the season on the Xerox Ducati 1098, the Belgian increasing his lead in the championship to 11 points over his closest rival, Claudio Corti (Alstare Suzuki). The Belgian led the race from lights to flag, gradually easing off towards the end. Corti had a great race, recovering to finish second from 22nd on the grid, while Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) also ran well, setting fastest lap in 1’33”516, and taking the final podium slot after also moving up from row 6. Fourth place went to Javi Fores (Kawasaki Pedercini), who finished ahead of the two Frenchmen Sylvain Barrier (Garnier) and Loris Baz (MRS), both on Yamahas, and Daniele Beretta (Ducati Xerox) in seventh.
Results: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 18’54.713 (153,161 kph); 2. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K91.600; 3. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 2.110; 4. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 2.522; 5. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 3.433; 6. Baz L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 5.596; 7. Beretta D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 9.556; 8. Schouten R. (NED) Yamaha YZF R1 10.646
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Simeon 105; 2. Corti 94; 3. Berger 82; 4. Fores 64; 5. Barrier 54; 6. Beretta 45; 7. Baz 33: 8. Jezek 32; 9. Magnoni 19; 10. Burrell 19. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 105: 2. Suzuki 94; 3. Honda 92; 4. Kawasaki 64; 5. Yamaha 62; 6. MV Agusta 18; 7. Aprilia 8
The Superstock 600 championship battle was thrown wide-open after points leader Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) crashed out on the second lap after being taken out by Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) while in the lead. The Italian remounted to finish ninth, a result that allowed him to maintain his points lead. The chasing riders Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) and Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno) are now 4 and 11 points down on the leader respectively. The British rider and the Italian fought it out for the win at the end of a terrific scrap, and in the end it was Bussolotti who took the chequered flag for his first win of the year. Third place went to Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha), while Eddi La Marra (Lorini Honda) missed a good chance by crashing out on lap 6 while in the lead of the race. The Italian recovered to finish 12th.
Results: 1. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 16’18.425 (148,022 kph); 2. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 0.213; 3. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 2.126; 4. Guittet B. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 6.948; 5. Kerschbaumer S. (AUT) Yamaha YZF R6 11.136; 6. Morelli N. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 14.695; 7. Chmielewski A. (POL) Yamaha YZF R6 14.780 8. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 16.782
Points (after 5 of 10 rounds): 1. Petrucci 82; 2. Rea 78; 3. Bussolotti 71; 4. Guarnoni 70; 5. Lonbois 64; 6. Kerschbaumer 43; 7. Guittet 40; 8. La Marra 39; 9. Litjens 38; 10. Chmielewski 30