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2009 World Superbike - Assen Photo Gallery

Round 4 of the 2009 World Superbike Championship season in Assen, Netherlands. Spies conquered Race 1 with some brilliant maneuvering, but Haga and Haslam rode more consistently overall. Looking for the straight facts? Read our rundown of the 2009 World Superbike Assen Results.

Slideshow
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Haga was straight thuggin on a Dutch bicycle before the Grand Prix in Assen.
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Ben Spies's had the fastest lap time during Friday's qualifying in Assen, clocking 1'38.747.
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Jakob Smrz - 2009 World Superbike
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Yukio Kagayama clocked the third quickest lap on Friday in Assen.
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Michel Fabrizio was the best performer in the Ducati Xerox squad on Friday, qualifing fifth after Honda's Carlos Checa.
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Noriyuki Haga was running well on Friday, but so was everyone else. He only had the 12th fastest lap.
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Ben Spies progressed through the bracket-style three-round qualifing system, finally laying down a 1:37.626 on his factory Yamaha R1 to secure the pole on Saturday.
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Leon Haslam with a Dutch umbrella girl before Race 1 on Sunday.
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BMW's Troy Corser recieved a small fracture between his hand and wrist from an accident at the Monza tests. Troy could’ve had pain-killing injections before the races, but did not want to loose sensation in the hand.
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Team Suzuki Alstare Brux rider Yukio Kagayama crashed on lap two of race one and was unable to get back on his bike. In race two, he suffered problems, but still managed to finish 12th.
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Championship front-runner Noriyuki Haga piloted his Ducati past Yamaha's Ben Spies during Race 1 in Assen, but lost the lead position on the final lap to get runner-up to the American.
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Michel Fabrizio ended up ninth in Race 1 due to a poor start and tough competition from Smrz, Rea and Laconi throughout. In Race 2 Michel held off fourth-placed Smrz for the majority, but began having problems getting his 1198 into gear during the final laps and lost third place to the Czech.
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Ducati's Michel Fabrizio: 'I had to grit my teeth in both of today’s races as I was once again having problems with my forearm. In the last few laps I was having trouble changing gear and this then forced me to slow in the last lap, which meant that Smrz passed me at the final corner.'
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Max Neukirchner crashed on lap seven in Race 1 to finish 13th. He returned in Race 2 on the same bike, but with a chassis not quite 100% he was unable to hold off Leon Haslam, Jakob Smrz, and Michel Fabrizio dropping back to ninth by the end.
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Max Biaggi battled on his Aprilia from 10th to fifth-place during Race 1, overcoming heated exchanges with Fabrizio, Rea, and Smrz along the way. However, Biaggi's Race 2 came to a quick end when he experienced a clutch problem and had to retire in the first lap.
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HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's Charlos Checa took a fall in race one, followed by seventh in the second 22-lap contest.
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Charlos Checa, 'At the beginning of race two it felt like I could be there with them but then I started to get tired, particularly my right arm, a little bit like arm pump. At the same time the chattering started from the rear and at the end it was very hard. I was struggling to do the lap times and I lost some positions.'
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As Race 1 wound down to the last few laps, Ben Spies put a move on Leon Haslam. Haslam was able to hold off Spies for a few more turns before the Yamaha finally passed the Honda CBR1000RR.
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Spies won Race 1 after making a ballsy move on Haga in the last lap, leaving the Ducati rider trailing by a tenth of a second. Leon Haslam finished out the rostrum half a second behind the front-runners.
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Yamaha's Ben Spies took his fourth win of the season by forcing his way past points leader Haga in a thrilling final lap. The American remarked, 'I knew I had to go and I fought it out with Nori over the last two laps. Actually I didn’t know where to pass Nori, but I got a good run and it was close.'
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The outcome of Race 2 was decided when Spies slid off into the gravel on lap 2 while in the lead. He remarked afterwords, 'I was pushing and got out wide in turn one and touched the Astroturf piece and high-sided. It's a shame as I felt really good and the bike felt right.'
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Stiggy Racing Honda's Leon Haslam (91) completed an impressive weekend of World Superbike competition at Assen with two podium finishes, third in race one and then second in race two, as he moved up to third in the championship rankings.
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Jonathan Rea had two respectable rides for the weekend, finishing seventh in Race 1 and fifth in Race 2. He said, 'I got a really
bad start in race one, which was followed by a bit of arm pump. That was much better in race two and I really started to enjoy riding the bike again.'
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Jonathan Rea (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda), 'But I’m really pumped for Monza – I feel
like I’ve got a really good working relationship with the team now and we’re definitely going in the right direction.'
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Troy Corser, 10th: 'Our bike is still being developed and there are some new parts to come very soon, so I am confident that there are improvements to come. We have only just started working on the traction and wheelie control, so you can see that’s there’s lots more we can do with the bike.'
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Noriyuki Haga following his victory in Race 2, 'First of all, I’m sorry for Ben and his crash, I hope he is fine. After the first race we changed the suspension a little bit and the bike was really comfortable, so a big thanks to everyone in the team. I think it’s nine years since I won here, in 2000, so I’m very happy and now I’m looking forward to Monza.'
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Noriyuki Haga (1st), Leon Haslam (2nd) and Jakub Smrz (3rd) shared the podium for Race 2 at Assen TT in the Netherlands.