News 29 Jun 2009

WSBK: Yamaha's Spies and Crutchlow sweep Donington Park

Yamaha Racing: The X Files hd

Kismat Konnection video

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.”