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2009 World Superbike - Valencia Photo Gallery

Check out the latest photos from Round 3 of the 2009 World Superbike Championship at Valencia, Spain, where Xerox Ducati swept the podium with impressive double wins by Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.

Slideshow
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Team Xerox Ducati stood tall following Noriyuki Haga's twin first-place finishes and teammate Michel Fabrizio's second and third for the World Superbike races in Valencia
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Nitro-Nori took the early lead in Race One at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain. After American Spies fell in lap 10, Suzuki's Max Neukirchner was left battling Ducati riders Fabrizio and Laconi for the remaining rostrum positions.
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Honda's Jonathan Rea (65) and BMW's Troy Corser (11) were among the handful of riders who rode off the track in the first race at Valencia, Spies and Checa being the notable others.
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Fabrizio rode with blazing confidence to keep second from Neukirchner's grasp in Race One, gaining Ducati the old one-two on the podium. Fabrizio went on to fend off the Frenchman Regis Laconi to stick third in Race Two.
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American John Hopkins took 11th and 12th in his World Superbike debut, which is not bad for this seasoned field of competitors. We will expect more out of the MotoGP racer at the upcoming Assen circuit where he has more experience.
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The Spaniard Carlos Checa crashed out in Race 1, but came back in Race 2 to nab 6th from Neukirchner.
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BMW's Troy Courser was looking strong early in Race 1 before he took a spill and retired. Race Two left him with a lackluster 15th finish, leaving much to be improved on when the new BMW World Superbike team heads to Holland.
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This year's deeply talented field left Aprilia's Max Biaggi in 8th twice, despite clocking lap times on par with the front runners. He is seen here battling past Sterilgarda Ducati's Bryne who finished 9th and 12th, respectively.
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V-Twin bikes have dominated the Ricardo Tormo Circuit since 2000, with Neil Hodgson setting a 1:35.007 lap record on a Ducati 999 in '03, which stood unboken until Haga booked 1:34.862 on his Ducati 1098R during Race Two.
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American John Hopkins (121) and Britain's Tom Sykes (66) are both new to World Superbike this season, and each has the potential to compete with the best. Last year's fourth-pace finisher in British Superbike, Sykes would pass Hopkins in both races for 7th and 10th.
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Starting 10th on the grid, Leon Haslam (91) rode very well for Stiggy Honda, finishing fifth twice as the fastest Honda rider at Valencia.
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Stiggy Honda's John Hopkins explains his 12th place finish in Race Two, 'With three laps to go I experienced fuel problems and the riders all came by me. This weekend was supposed to be a learning curve and I proved that I can do the lap times. We'll have to work on the setup and get it working right.'
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Yamaha's Spies rode hard in Race 2 to slip into second between the Haga and the other Xerox Ducati rider, No. 84 Frabrizio. Flipping his bike in the first race didn't seem to shake the rider's tenacious performance.
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Scoring 20 points for his second-place finish this weekend, Spies still has a 30 point lead over Neukirchner, but will have to place consistently to catch up with Nitro-Nori's 40 point advantage.
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Noriyuki Haga takes a comfortable lead going into the 4th Round in the Netherlands. He is riding consistently enough to win the championship, but will he have enough dashing to fend off the young American Ben Spies?
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All knees and 'elbowz' Spies positions his spindly frame on this year's impressive Yamaha like a Recluse spider ready to strike. Spies doesn't have as much experience on the upcoming Assen circuit, but he can certainly bet on better luck.
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Haga takes fifty points for his double Aces at Valencia, advancing his lead in the WSBK Championship. He is focusing on riding consistently this year, trying to avoid the risks that have plagued Spies, Biaggi, and Neukirchner in the overall standings.