Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2009 World Superbike - Kyalami Photo Gallery

Round 6 of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship had the riders flying to the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa to race the Kyalami circuit for the first time since 2002. Read the full 2009 World Superbike Kyalami Results.

Some of the top world superbike riders mussing with scrappy lion cubs at Lion Park.
Michel Fabrizio arrives in South Africa full of confidence following his one-two finishes in Monza.
The Italian rider is on the same Xerox Ducati 1098 F09 as points leader Noriyuki Haga, but Fabrizio has the tendency to occasionally tip-toe outside his comfort zone on, and off, the track.
Spies comes to Kyalami hoping for better luck than when he ran out of fuel in Race 1 of Monza.
The Suzuki Alstare Brux team took precautions to keep their riders healthy in South Africa, bringing a couple umbrella nurses.
Yukio Kagayama wishes injured teammate Max Neukirchner well after the German broke his leg in a horrendous pile-up in Race 1 of Monza.
Former Alstare Suzuki team member Fonsi Nieto took Neukirchner's place for Round 6 of the World Superbike Championship in South Africa.
Unfortunately, DFX Corse's Regis Laconi would crash during the opening free practice session on Friday.
Laconi experienced severe trauma to his cervical vertbrae and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg.
The French rider is said to be improving and is expected to undergo surgery to stabilize the fracture vertebrae with a plate on Tuesday, May 19th.
Their were some doubts about how well Haga would perform after his right bicep was hit by a bird in Monza. Placing 4th in the superpole behind Spies, Fabrizio, and Biaggi showed that he was still capable of clocking fast laps.
The first race saw Yamaha rider Ben Spies drop back to fourth from the pole position start as they left the line. However, he quickly recovered to second behind championship rival Noriyuki Haga.
Halfway round the first lap Spies was passed by Michele Fabrizio and settled into third position behind the two Ducatis as they battled for the lead for the majority of the race.
For the first eleven laps Michel Fabrizio was in the lead just ahead of Noriyuki and Ben Spies.
Fabrizio made a very small error and gave his team-mate Noriyuki the opportunity to pass.
Lap by lap, Noriyuki then gradually built up a gap, leaving Michel and Spies to battle it out for second.
With seven laps to go Spies made one more charge on Fabrizio to take back second, but the American lost traction on a bumpy section and fell back to third, lacking enough tire traction to make another charge.
Jonathan Rea took an impressive fourth place in race one, absorbing pressure all the way from Aprilia rider, Max Biaggi.
Rea, 4th: 'This feels really good and I was hoping it might have come sooner but we had a pretty slow start to the season. In fact, you could say the season started three rounds before we did. But the development is going really well now and I’d like to thank the whole team for working so hard to move things in the right direction.'
Max Biaggi must be fond of fifth-place, after take two more for the weekend in South Africa. The Italian commented, 'Compared to November, the RSV4 has grown quite a bit, but the competition here in Superbike is merciless'.
Charlos Checa had too much grip in the rear wheel, which was causing the tire to jump in the first half of Race 1. But things smoothed out, and the Spainard was able to power to a season best of sixth.
Checa, 6th: 'Considering our year so far, I think this is our best weekend, the most positive one. But, we are not doing the best, because Johnny is in front of us. For us he is our closest reference. But this race was a good one to get our confidence back and now we will try to catch-up'.
Despite problems with the bumpy track, Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare Brux) kept attacking and managed to bring his GSX-R1000 K9 home into a respectable eighth behind Aprilia's Shinya Nakano.
Tom Sykes had a poor start to race one, dropping from his eighth position start on the grid to 16th as they headed into the first corner. He managed to move up to 10th position with nine laps to go, but was unable to unseat Shane Byrne.
After a podium finish in Monza it was a difficult weekend for Ten Kate Honda Racing's Ryuichi Kiyonari, who finished Race 1 in 12th.
Leon had a crash on lap 15 of race one, simply by pushing too hard on an imperfect front set-up in an effort to recover from a starting position of tenth on the grid.
Haslam, DNF: 'My first race was really strange, I don't know whether is was the front tire, but from the first lap in the first race I kept losing the front, resulting in a crash.'
Max Neukirchner's replacement rider, Fonsi Nieto, rode to decent 16th in Race 1, having never riden the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 before.
Spies, 3rd: 'We were struggling to hang in there in race one, it was a good race for all three of us up at the front. When I passed Michel I tried to reel in Nori and then unfortunately made a mistake. I was really strong in parts of the track but giving up too much time in some corners and couldn’t get in there.'
In Race 2 Noriyuki again took off from the start line and led the 24-lap race from the offset.
Michel meanwhile had to contend with Rea and then Spies in the opening laps before Spies suffered a technical failure, allowing the Italian to move into second position.
Fabrizio and Haga raced well ahead of the pack, the Italian was never able to reach his Japanese teammate.
Fabrizio, 2nd: 'Although I was giving it my all right until the end, it was Nori who took the win in the end but we had fun battling it out together.'
Race two saw disaster strike for Spies, having dropped to third off the start, he again passed Biaggi on the inside for the second place spot and coming round for lap three took Haga in a fantastic move for the lead.
No sooner had he done this than his shift linkage broke, making it impossible to change gear and forcing him to retire from the race.
Jonathan Rea matched and raised his forth-place finish in race 1 with a podium in Race 2. It was the best result for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda and the rider from Northern Ireland.
Rea, 3rd: 'The crew were giving me great signals through the second race and I knew I was coming under a bit of pressure. I actually knocked the pace off a bit to keep Haslam and Biaggi behind me so that I had a bit in reserve in the last few laps. It’s a great feeling and the first of many, I hope.'
In the second 24-lap contest Leon Haslams pace was sufficient to hold off Max Biaggi, if not quite enough to pass Rea. In taking fourth and 13 points, he is still the top ranked Honda rider in the standings, fourth, with 116 points to Rea’s 106.
Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) made significant set-up changes to his machine during this race weekend and found rewards, earning seventh in Superpole and then sixth in each race. With another sixth-place in Race 2 Carlos Checa displaced his Ten Kate team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari by moving to tenth place in the championship standings, 73 points to 72.
Charlos Checa, 6th/6th: 'It’s not easy seeing your team-mates getting this success – Kiyo in Monza last week and Jonathan today. But I must say that this is probably the most positive weekend we have had this season. We’re now a bit closer to something we can work with to move in the right direction, which is back to the front.'
Although Shinya Nakano got off to a slow start in race 2, the Aprilia rider clawed his way back to finish only two seconds behind his fifth-placed teammate Max Biaggi, taking a pair of seventh-places for the day.
Yukio Kagayama improved his Race 2 result to ninth, but was disapointed. The Suzuki Alstare Brux rider said, 'This bike is all new this year and so we have had to start to work with it and try and understand it. If we could understand the bike completely, we could improve it quickly and that would mean that I could challenge for the podium in every race.'
Tom Sykes, 9th: 'The second race I got away ok from the start and was closing in on Checa and a couple of the boys, but the last five laps or so I was really struggling. If we could have found a bit more grip it would have been better. We struggled on the power this weekend as well which was tough on this circuit.'
Ryuichi Kiyonari, 13th ' Kyalami is a very difficult circuit for me, very bumpy and it needs a completely different riding style to Monza last week. I guess I didn’t quite find the right style. We had a lot of problems so it’s difficult for me to know which one we should really concentrate on. I can only hope Miller will be better for me'
Fonsi Nieto was happy to riding for Suzuki, but was not happy with his 15th position in Race 2 to follow-up 16th in Race 1.
Nieto, 15th: 'This bike is not working so well with the tyres we have and if we could improve in that area, we would be able to fight for better results for sure. Now I have some time to think about the bike and talk to the team about some ideas for the next race in USA. At least I have raced at that track before, so I will not be starting with such a big disadvantage as this weekend.'
Haga: 'In Race 2 we made a small change to the setting of my bike and I felt more comfortable on it but I knew that Michel was close behind me and in the last laps my braking was suffering, so I had to hold on and am very happy to take another 50 points away with me today and again increase my advantage in the standings.'
Haga: 'My arm was not a problem at all during the racing. I must say I was very glad to see there are less birds here at Kyalami than at Monza!'
Fabrizio: 'I’ve moved into second place with today’s results though so this leaves me extremely satisfied and I look forward to the next race in Salt Lake.'
Jonathan Rea scored his debut World Superbike podium in race two of the sixth round at Kyalami in South Africa today. It was also the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team’s first visit to the rostrum this season.
Today’s points boost moves Fabrizio up into second place in the classification, 85 points behind championship leader Haga (now holding 250 points) and 3 ahead of third-placed rider Spies.
The overall winners at Kyalami were Fabrizio, Haga, and the unexpected Jonathan Rea.
In the end the veteran Haga lead the way to a Ducati Xerox sweep in South Africa. He increasing his points lead headed into Salt Lake City for Round 7 of the World Superbike Championship.