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2009 World Superbike - Monza Photo Gallery

Michel Fabrizio and Ben Spies spilt wins in Monza, Italy at the fifth round of the World Superbike Championship, but not without a host of madness and turmoil at the historic Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Be sure to check out the full World Superbike Monza Results.

Slideshow
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Haga had the third fastest lap during the Friday Practice Round, three-tenths of a second faster than Ben Spies who ended up seventh in the pack.
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Yamaha's Ben Spies will try to make up ground on Noriyuki Haga with his pole position start on Sunday at Monza.
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Reigning World Superbike Champ Troy Bayliss was on hand at Monza acting as the official ambassador of Team Ducati Xerox.
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Noriyuki Haga, a resident of nearby Milan, Italy, was a fan favorite coming into the weekend races in Monza, especially now that he rides for the Italian marque Ducati.
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Ducati's Michel Fabrizio joines Aprilia's Max Biaggi in search of the first win for an Italian at Monza since Pierfrancesco Chili in 2000. With both riders on Italian motorcycles national loyalty was apparent during the pre-race autograph session.
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Troy Corser recorded his best Superpole qualifying of the year in Monza by taking the eleventh quickest time in Second Qualifying. Unfortunately, the positive ground covered by the BMW rider would be tragically lost in the upcoming races.
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Starting from the fourth row, BMW's Rebeun Xaus would have plenty of places to take back during the race, but in doing so he could prove BMW's new S1000RR project was gaining traction.
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Because of the hip injury suffered by John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) in practice at Assen last time out, Jake Zemke moved over from the AMA series to be Leon Haslam’s temporary team-mate at Monza, in what would be his first World Superbike race.
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Race 1 got off to a dramatic red-flag start. Kawasaki's Makato Tamada made contact with Ducati privateer Branden Roberts as the riders compressed into the tight first chicane. Robert’s Ducati then skipped across the grass and through the chicane, hitting Max Neukirchner's Suzuki and putting the German on the ground. BMW's Troy Corser, and Honda's Tommy Hill were also taken out.
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Max Neukirchner took the brunt of the bad luck. The German broke his right femur and suffering three broken bones in the lower leg and foot. Roberts also broke his leg and suffered further thorax trauma. Corser returned to the race, but fail agian, causing him to sit out the rest of the weekend.
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Neukirchner was Suzuki's best performing rider, fifth in the points standings coming into Monza. With the German rider out of commission the Suzuki team will have the somber task of trying to find someone to replace him.
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Tommy Hill was not injuried and was able to restart the race using his second bike, but set-up problems with the bike forced him to settle for 20th in Race 1. In Race 2 the British rider took 16th for the Athea Honda Team.
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The two Ducati Xerox riders, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, lead the way once the green-flag dropped and the race recommenced.
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American Ben Spies took the lead in the fifth lap for Yamaha, while the two Ducati's lost time fighting over second. By lap nine Spies had a one second advantage over the then second-place Fabrizio.
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Three laps from the end Fabrizio drafted Spies on the main straight to take the lead going into the first chicane, but the American took the lead back on the next lap.
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Just when it all looked in the bag for the young Texan, having made a final-lap break, his factory Yamaha R1 puffed smoke and lost power going through the final corner, handing the win to Fabrizio, his first of the season and the first of his career at his home race in Italy.
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The fans went wild as Fabrizio became the first Italian to win at Monza since 2000. Fellow Ducati Xerox rider Haga took second. Meanwhile, the assumed winner Spies rolled across the finish line in 15th after his Yamaha ran out of gas.
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Max Biaggi finished third for Aprilia, however, when he climbed atop the podium, the loudspeaker announced a 20 second penalty for the Roman driver because of a suspected cut at the second chicane in the seventh lap.
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Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari instead assumed third after a late-race charge to get his first podium of the season.
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Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama took fourth well ahead of Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea.
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Jonathan Rea, 5th: 'We just had a few problems with the bike in the latter stages of the race, I don’t know whether it’s the light fuel load or what, but it developed a bit of chatter which was quite hard to dial out after race one. I got busted by a pretty hard move by Laconi in that race and, by the time I’d got back past him, I’d lost touch with the leading group.'
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In race one Jake Zemke (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR), riding as a substitute for the injured John Hopkins, overcame a qualifying place of 25th to ride to 18th.
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Ruben Xaus took home seventh after starting 14th on the grid, the best result for the fledgling BMW team this season and a positive note to partially offset Troy Corser's bad luck.
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Ruben Xaus: 'I am happy to give the team our best result of the season so far. My seventh place result is also for Troy and the whole team because everybody has worked so hard for this.'
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Michel Fabrizio, 1st: 'It’s gone well all weekend so I knew I had the chance to fight for the win and at last I’ve done it! Mid way through race 1 I was having trouble with the gears, especially when Ben passed me, but I didn’t give up and fought till the end.'
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Michel Fabrizio after winning Race 1 in Monza: 'It’s a shame for Ben that the race finished as it did because it makes mine a bit of a false win but I’m very pleased of course.'
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'We have worked very hard to find a good setting with the CBR1000RR this season but we have not always had good luck. My start was very bad in race one but I was able to fight back lap-by-lap during the race, although I was very surprised and happy when they told me I was third.' - Ryuichi Kiyonari
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Haga took the lead off the line in Race 2 with Spies close behind. But in another bizaar incident Haga was struck by a bird on the first corner, lacerating his right bicep. Despite loosing feeling in his right arm he continued on for another lap before he was unable to break going into the Parabolica causing him to fall.
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In Race 2 Spies took redemption for his bad luck in Race 1.
The American was out front by the end of lap one and every lap thereafter. He stretched his lead to over six seconds but then slowed his pace as he short shifted home to ensure he had enough fuel to cross the finish line.
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Fabrizio rode another solid race on his home track to take second in Race 2.
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Unable to hold off Fabrizio, Ryuich Kiyonari still managed to bag his second podium for the week and season when he took another third in Race 2.
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Hannspree Ten Kate's Jonathan Rea followed up a strong fifth in Race 1 with an even better fourth for Race 2.
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Jonathan Rea, 4th: 'In Race 2 I got a much better start and tried really hard to catch Fabrizio and Kiyo, but they had a little more left in the tank at the end. Still, I’ve equalled my best Superbike result and we’ve shown that we can race at the front now.'
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Max Biaggi set a new World Superbike top speed record at Monza at a blistering 202.1 mph in Race 2. With a fifth for the Race 2 he was able to partly redeem himself after being controversially penalized in the first race.
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Max Biaggi, 5th in Race 2: 'I didn’t even want to race in the second heat, but then my good sense took over and I got onto the track anyway, despite all the controversy. Race 2 wasn’t going too badly, I had a good rhythm going and was catching up to the second group, but then I made an error and lost ground.'
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Tom Sykes matched his sixth-place finish in the first race with another in Race 2; he explained, 'In race two I got off the line fairly decently and had good race pace, I was looking quite strong but not able to get that last little bit.'
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Leon Haslam was riding his second bike at Monza with the same set-up as Assen. Despite struggling with fuel and suspension issues he was able to take a satisfactory seventh in Race 2.
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Leon Haslam (Honda): 'It took me a few laps to get into it, but I was able to run a good pace. The pace in the end of the race was definitely good enough for a place on the rostrum. To finish the second race in seventh place is a good enough result, so I am pretty happy.'
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Rebuen Xaus powered to ninth on the new BMW S1000RR, behind the privateer Ducati rider Jakub SMRZ.
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Ruben Xaus: 'My race two result could’ve been better, but I made a really bad start and then got nudged by somebody in the chicane. I recovered and was happy fighting for eighth with Smrz, Parkes and Laconi but I just couldn’t get past Smrz for eighth.'
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In Race 2 Tommy Hill took 16th for the Athea Honda Team as he continued to stuggle with set-up problems.
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American Jake Zemke droped two places in the second race to finish 20th.
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Broc Parkes made Monza the best so far for the struggling Kawasaki Team with a 10th in Race 1 and 13th in race 2.
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Shinya Nakano (Aprilia), 13th/12th: 'The second heat went better, times were decent and I recovered several positions after having lost ground at the start. Instead, I had a bit more difficulty in Race 1. I’m happy that my shoulder didn’t bother me the entire weekend and it should be even better for Kyalami. Honestly, I’m amazed at the decision they made about Max. I saw a lot of drivers that were with me cut the chicane each time, but no one else was penalized.
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Ben Spies, Winner of Race 2: 'I had a clear strategy and made sure I got into a really good rhythm in the first 12 to 14 laps to build a safety buffer. Obviously we had a problem at the end of race one which I didn’t want to repeat so slowed a bit there and short shifted a bit to make sure everything was good to the end.'
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Ryuichi Kiyonari: 'In the second race I had a better start and I must say I am a little disappointed. I had the speed to catch Fabrizio but not quite enough to get past him. But this is my best result for a long time and I hope it indicates the start of a better part of the season for me and the team.'
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The Race 2 podium (left to right): Ducati's Michel Fabrizio in second, Yamaha's Ben Spies with the win, with Honda's Ryuichi Kiyonari rounding-out the podium.
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Ben Spies now has the most race wins for the season, which probably explains why he is able to master the podium photo opportunity with slightly more grace than Kiyonari and Fabrizio.
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The Italian fans were happy to see Michel Fabrizio on the podium in both races as he took a 1-2 in Monza.