World Superbike Vallelunga Results

September 21, 2008
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Nitro Nori Haga celebrates his dominating effort at Vallelunga 2008.
Nitro Nori Haga celebrates his dominating effort at Vallelunga 2008.

Noriyuki Haga put on a show at Vallelunga, with the Yamaha Motor Italis rider taking the double. Following Haga in Race 1 was Ducati’s Max Biaggi while another 1098 rider, Michel Fabrizio, took second in Race 2. Haga’s teammate, Troy Corser, placed third in both races. As for the soon to be crowned champ, Troy Bayliss, the Ducati ace crashed out in Race 2 while fighting with Haga for the win. Combined with Corser’s double podium, Bayliss will have to wait until next round for the ’08 title.

In Race 1 Haga tussled with the Italian Biaggi, who pulled everything out of his veteran bag of tricks to steal one for the home crowd but to no avail. Finishing just off the podium was Max Neukirchner in fourth, with Honda’s Carlos Checa rounding out the top five. Bayliss finished sixth.

In the second race it was Bayliss who stepped up to challenge Haga. Pushing hard with the knowledge that a Race 2 win and third-place finish from Corser would ensure his title, Bayliss pushed a little too hard and binned his 1098R. The win or crash attitude proved unnecessary as Bayliss’ teammate, Fabrizio, would nip Corser for second. Again Neukirchner and Checa took the fourth and fifth spots.

Nitro Nori has no realistic shot at that elusive SBK crown, but trailing Corser by 10 points the Japanese ace may yet again finish second in the points with more late-season heroics like Vallelunga.

“I could hear Biaggi’s bike all the way but my bike was working very well and I am very happy with the result,” said Haga after the double. “In Race 2 I had a very big fight with Troy Bayliss, and I am sorry for his crash. But I enjoyed our battle while it lasted. It was a great day today for our team and thanks to all the team and the fans for the reception. For sure we will be pushing hard at the next round, as we did at this one.”

Bayliss narrowly missed locking in the 2008 SBK title, crashing in Race 2 as he tried to track down Haga.

Noriyuki Haga on the top of the Vallelunga podium.
Noriyuki Haga on the top of the Vallelunga podium.

“I was going to try and take Nori and either win or crash because I knew that me finishing second and Corser third wouldn’t be enough to take the title and I really wanted to finish the job here today,” said Bayliss. “I got close enough but then riding so close to the limit, it only took one tiny thing, either a little bit too much brake or too much lean, and I went down. It didn’t end the way we had hoped but we move on, there are still two rounds to go and I have a good points advantage still.”

Vallelunga Race 1 Results:
1. Haga (Yamaha)
2. Biaggi (Ducati)
3. Corser (Yamaha)
4. Neukirchner (Suzuki)
5. Checa (Honda)
6. Bayliss (Ducati)
7. Fabrizio (Ducati)
8. Rolfo (Honda)
9. Kagayama (Suzuki)
10. Nakatomi (Yamaha)
11. Lanzi (Ducati)
12. Nieto (Suzuki)
13. Smrz (Ducati)
14. Lavilla (Honda)
15. Badovini (Kawasaki)
16. Laconi (Kawasaki)
DNF Xaus (Ducati)
DNF Kiyonari (Honda)

Vallelunga Race 2 Results:
1. Haga (Yamaha)
2. Fabrizio (Ducati)
3. Corser (Yamaha)
4. Neukirchner (Suzuki)
5. Checa (Honda)
6. Nieto (Suzuki)
7. Kagayama (Suzuki)
8. Nakatomi (Yamaha)
9. Laconi (Kawasaki)
10. Rolfo (Honda)
11. Smrz (Ducati)
12. Xaus (Ducati)
13. Kiyonari (Honda)
14. Gimbert (Yamaha)
15. Walker (Honda)
16. Bayliss (Ducati)
DNF Biaggi (Ducati)