News 28 Sep 2009

WSBK: Ducati Xerox riders split wins in Imola showdown

Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio split the victories at Imola on Sunday, with Japanese star Haga reclaiming the overall lead in the championship from American Ben Spies. An all-Italian battle for the leading positions was made up by Aprilia, with Max Biaggi and Marco Simoncelli taking a podium apiece.


Haga and Fabrizio won a race each, while Biaggi was third in race one

Haga and Fabrizio won a race each, while Biaggi was third in race one

The long-awaited return to Imola for the FIM Superbike World Championship produced a magnificent day of racing in glorious weather conditions in front of 67,000 spectators. The wins went to the Ducati Xerox duo of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, with the Japanese rider bouncing back to the top of the table. The other protagonists in an all-Italian battle for the leading positions were Aprilia, with Max Biaggi and Marco Simoncelli taking a podium apiece. It was a disappointing day for the former points leader Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), who managed to limit the damage in the title race. Haga now has a three-point lead, with two rounds remaining and 100 points up for grabs.

Race 1

Haga won a nail-biting first race of the day, which kept the fans glued to their seats right down to the chequered flag, the Japanese rider taking his first win since Kyalami in mid-May. Four laps from the flag Haga passed Biaggi, who had led since the start, to take the win. Thanks to this result Haga made up twelve points on championship leader Spies, the American only able to finish fourth. There was a terrific scrap for the runner-up slot, which went to Biaggi after the Aprilia rider made a superb move on Fabrizio to pass him at the final chicane. Simoncelli’s WSB debut was an unfortunate one, the Italian crashing out from fifth. That place in the end went to Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who finished ahead of fellow Honda riders Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate), the latter throwing away any chance of a decent result when he went onto the gravel at the Rivazza while trying an overtaking move. Broc Parkes was the first Kawasaki runner home in tenth, ahead of Troy Corser (BMW).

Noriyuki Haga: “This is my first win since Kyalami and I am very happy, I really enjoyed that race. This morning we had a little problem and I thought it would be difficult to make good lap times for 21 laps, so for the race we made a modification for the suspension and things were better. I am really happy for the win because my dad came over for this race and I got the win, so I dedicate it to him!”

Max Biaggi: “I am very happy with the result in the last race in Italy before next year. In the tests we suffered a bit more than the others but me and my team worked hard and late afternoon yesterday we improved our set-up. This morning was OK, we made some modifications, still there is room to improve but for sure it was a great result. In the final chicane with Fabrizio, I thought ‘you never know’, I saw him there a little bit on the side and I stick in my bike, stayed in there. I could pass him and this is a good result.”

Michel Fabrizio: “From the sixth lap onwards I had a problem with my arm and I couldn’t pull the clutch very well, so I got used to changing gear without the clutch, but unfortunately the engine braking wasn’t quite right for that. As the laps went on I couldn’t feel my hand anymore and in the last five laps I was holding on with two fingers, I could hardly keep my hand on the bars.”

Results: 1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 38’32.199 (161,388 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.074; 3. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2.190; 4. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 5.438; 5. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 14.470; 6. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 14.685; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 26.822; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 32.694; 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 33.817; 10. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 34.801; 11. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 35.286; 12. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 36.442; 13. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 38.698; 14. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 42.147; 15. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 46.510; 16. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 46.628

Race 2

The spectacle continued in race 2, but this time Fabrizio was unstoppable and he powered away to take his second win of the season. The Italian finished ahead of team-mate Haga, who with this result moved ahead of Spies in the table. The Texan rookie was not as incisive as in previous races but in the second race had bad luck on his side as he got caught up in the battle for third with the two Aprilias. While making a move on Biaggi and Simoncelli at the final chicane, he was forced to run off the track to avoid Biaggi. He came back on to finish fifth. The final podium place went to Simoncelli, who immediately made his name in a championship as hard-fought as Superbike. Jonathan Rea had another race full of errors, but partially managed to make up for them with sixth place. BMW had another difficult race, with a DNF for Corser and Ruben Xaus returning after injury to finish 13th.

Michel Fabrizio: “Today I really wanted victory in race 2. In the first race unfortunately I had a problem with my arm, and I just missed out on the win. For race 2 I fixed everything, I changed my arm and I changed Nori and went on to win! I am happy for the Ducati Xerox team, today all the Ducati top management were here so Nori and I cut a good figure! For sure I think we deserved the renewal of our contract!”

Noriyuki Haga: “Congratulations for Michel for winning and for Marco with his first time in Superbike, third position today. For the race, I changed the bike completely from the first race and in this bike we had a few problems. During the race the bike started moving a lot, after Michel passed me I tried to catch him up but he was quite fast today and I couldn’t find where I could pass him…and then I was dead! I think I need more salt, 1 kilo of salt!”

Marco Simoncelli: “If I finish the race in the first 5 I am very happy. In the first race I was fifth but crashed, while in this race I started better than in the first and after some laps I keep a very good pace. In the chicane with my team-mate I didn’t want to pass him, but I braked too hard and I think ‘either I hit him and we crash or I try to pass’. I succeeded and I am very happy, a big thanks to Aprilia and my team. Today was a great big experience for me here in Superbike.”

Results: 1. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 38’23.143 (162,023 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 3.592; 3. Simoncelli M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6.510; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 7.445; 5. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 14.678; 6. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 16.396; 7. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 17.110; 8. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 22.502; 9. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 25.268; 10. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 30.203; 11. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 32.589; 12. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 36.243; 13. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 36.368; 14. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 38.809; 15. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 42.435: 16. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 49.349

Points (after 12 of 14 rounds): 1. Haga 391; 2. Spies 388: 3. Fabrizio 330; 4. Rea 263; 5. Biaggi 257; 6. Haslam 219; 7. Checa 183; 8. Sykes 176; 9. Smrz 155; 10: Byrne 149. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 489; 2. Yamaha 431; 3. Honda 368; 4. Aprilia 267; 5. Suzuki 148; 6. Bmq 113; 7. Kawasaki 63

World Supersport

The battle for the Supersport title has been thrown wide-open again as a result of a crash by points leader Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport), while he was heading towards his sixth win of the season. The British rider crashed out at the Acque Minerali, and his lead in the table is now two points over Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), who finished runner-up. The win went to Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) for the third time this year, while the final podium slot went to Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport), who closed up on Laverty in the final stages but was unable to take away precious points. Chaz Davies put in an excellent performance on his Supersport debut with Triumph, bringing the British three-cylinder machine home in fourth place in front of team-mate Garry McCoy.

Results: 1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 35’51.342 (156,936 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 5.372; 3. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.450; 4. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 15.847; 5. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 15.944; 6. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 16.001; 7. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 27.097; 8. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 27.835

Points (after 12 of 14 rounds): 1. Crutchlow 210; 2. Laverty 208; 3. Sofuoglu 153; 4. Lascorz 138; 5. Foret 115; 6. West 104; 7. Pitt 104; 8. McCoy 82; 9. Aitchison 71; 10. Roccoli 62. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 256; 2. Yamaha 251; 3. Kawasaki 158; 4. Triumph 98; 5. Suzuki 30

Superstock 1000

After taking the pole, wild-card Ayrton Badovini (Aprilia) went on to repeat the same form in the race, taking a lights-to-flag victory. At the start, the Italian was shadowed first by Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) and Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare), but he managed to shake them off one by one and take the chequered flag by a large margin. In post-race scrutineering however all the Aprilias were found to have a technical irregularity and Badovini, as well as tenth-placed Federico Sandi, were disqualified. As a result the win went to Simeon, his fourth in a row, and the Belgian is now easily on the way towards the title: he needs just five points in the last two races to win, irrespective of what Corti, who finished runner-up, does. The battle for third was between Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha) and Michele Magnoni (Belvilacqua Yamaha), with the Frenchman taking the place in a sprint to the line.

Results: 1. Simeon X. (BEL) Ducati 1098R 22’40.939 (156,682 kph); 2. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1.689: 3. Magnoni M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 4.947; 4. Beretta D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 13.727; 5. Lammert D. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 16.487; 6. Saltarelli S. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 17.403; 7. Baroni L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 17.661; 8. Jezek O. (CZE) Honda CBR1000RR 26.448

Points (after 8 of 10 rounds): 1. Simeon 180; 2. Corti 135; 3. Fores 107; 4. Berger 102; 5. Beretta 79; 6. Barrier 67; 7. Jesek 64; 8. Baz 41; 9. Giugliano 38; 10. Magnoni 35. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 180; 2. Suzuki 137; 3. Honda 136; 4. Kawasaki 107; 5. Yamaha 100; 6. MV Agusta 26; 7. Aprilia 12

Superstock 600

The Supersport 600 battle remains to be decided after Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) wasted a chance to clinch the title. The Italian was in the lead at the final chicane, but came under attack from Eddi La Mara (Honda Lorini), who took his first win, and also from Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) and Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno), who finished on the podium. Luckily his chief rival Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) was unable to go any higher than sixth place, leaving Petrucci with the consolation of an 11-point cushion in the table.

Results: 1. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 19’36.935 (150,982 kph); 2. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 0.286; 3. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 0.715; 4. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 0.988; 5. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 9.605; 6. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 11.034; 7. Gregorini G. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.203; 8. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.237

Points (after 8 of 10 rounds): 1. Petrucci 135; 2. Lonbois 124; 3. Rea 118; 4. Bussolotti 112; 5. Guarnoni 94; 6. La Marra 93; 7. Kerschbaumer 62; 8. Guittet 58; 9. Litjens 38; 10. Chmielewki 36