Yamaha Motor Italia’s Ben Spies won World Superbike Race 1 in Assen. The win would be his fourth this season.
Yamaha Motor Italia’s Ben Spies and Xerox Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga both took home wins during Sunday’s World Superbike motorcycle races at the Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, the Netherlands.
In Race 1, Spies started from pole position aboard his 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 courtesy of Saturday’s Superpole win (his fourth of the year). Spies led the first half of the 22-lap race until Haga and Stiggy Honda CBR1000RR pilot Leon Haslam came flying by pushing him to third. The three riders then began pulling a gap from the rest of the field. As the race wound down to the last few laps, Spies put a move on Haslam. Haslam retaliated holding off Spies for a few more turns before finally conceding the position.
On the final lap, Spies went for it and passed Haga in an ultra-fast section of the 2.8-mile track and took the checkered flag a scant two tenths of a second in front of Haga. Haslam would finish less than a second behind them with Spies teammate Tom Skyes finishing fourth, almost 9 seconds behind. Biaggi brought home the all-new Aprilia RSV4 Factory in fifth.
Ben Spies, Winner, Yamaha Motor Italia: “I was trying to set a really good pace in the first few laps, but just didn’t have the same feeling I had in practice with the bike, and Nori came by and I saw nobody was behind Haslam, so I just sat back and watched. When the tyres started going off we made some moves, there were some close moments with Leon but we kept it clean. 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.”
Noriyuki Haga, Second Place, Xerox Ducati: “I am a little bit disappointed but we did a very good race. I got a good start but just at the beginning of the race Ben was quite faster and I tried to catch up with him. It was difficult because I had a little problem with the bike. I caught up again and passed him and tried to push but couldn’t. So at this point I just lost a few points for the championship.”
Leon Haslam, Third Place, Stiggy Honda: “I felt really good to be fair, the race pace was good and I was just sitting behind Nori. I was losing a lot of time out of the hairpin and onto the start-finish straight and was trying to match Nori through there and the next minute me and Spies had a good elbow session but it was a fantastic race and again a big thanks to the team to give me a package to do that.”
In Race 2 it was Spies again out in front after Lap 1. This time however the Texan would end up crashing on the start
In Race 2, Haga took over the lead from Spies on the second lap, after the American crashed. Haga would remain unchallenged for the rest of the race. His win would be his fourth this year.
of the next lap handing the lead over to Haga. Biaggi would also retire on the same lap with some sort of mechanical problem with his Aprilia motorcycle.
Back up front it was Haga followed by his Xerox Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio, Haslam, and Guandalini Racing Ducati’s Jakub Smrz.
On Lap 13, Haslam would slide his CBR1000RR past Fabrizio’s Ducati 1098R good for second place and on the final lap Smrz would sneak by Fabrizio for third, his best finish of the year. Fifth was Hanspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea followed by fellow British motorcycle racer Sykes.
Noriyuki Haga, Winner, Xerox Ducati: “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.”
Leon Haslam, Second Place, Stiggy Honda: “I was a little bit ambitious into the first turn but I thought the pace was OK. I rose through to pass Fabrizio, but it took me a lot of the race and when I finally did get past, there wasn’t much left and maybe with the cooler conditions the grip wasn’t quite so high. I made a few little mistakes but managed to get enough of a break to run into second.”
Jakub Smrz, Third Place, Guandalini Racing Ducati: “I was just staying behind Michel and he had a problem or something, it was really close but I could just pass him at the finish. I’m really happy because everybody said before that I can be fast only in qualifying, so now I showed everyone that I can be fast in the race as well and it’s a great result for me and the team.”
World Superbike Assen Race 1 Results:
1. Ben Spies, Yamaha YZF-R1, 22 laps, 36:31.338
2. Noriyuki Haga, Ducati 1098 F09, -0.154 second
3. Leon Haslam, Honda CBR1000RR, -0.779 second
4. Tom Sykes, Yamaha YZF-R1, -8.775 seconds
5. Max Biaggi, Aprilia RSV4 Factory, -11.275
6. Jakub Smrz, Ducati 1098R, -16.126
7. Jonathan Rea, Honda CBR1000RR, -19.555
8. Regis Laconi, Ducati 1098R, -19.760
9. Michel Fabrizio, Ducati 1098 F09, -23.006
10. Troy Corser, BMW S1000RR, -24.285
11. Shane Byrne, Ducati 1098R, -26.003
12. Karl Muggeridge, Suzuki GSX-R1000, -27.814
13. Max Neukirchner, Suzuki GSX-R1000, -36.962
14. Ruben Xaus, BMW S1000RR, -39.025
15. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Honda CBR1000RR, -41.505
World Superbike Assen Race 2 Results:
1. Noriyuki Haga, Ducati 1098 F09, 22 laps, 36:31.712
2. Leon Haslam, Honda CBR1000RR, -2.678 seconds
3. Jakub Smrz, Ducati 1098R, -4.603
4. Michel Fabrizo, Ducati 1098 F09, -8.981
5. Jonathan Rea, Honda CBR1000RR, -12.104
6. Tom Sykes, Yamaha YZF-R1, -14.575
7. Carlos Checa, Honda CBR1000RR, -17.449
8. Shane Byrne, Ducati 1098R, -17.729
9. Max Neukirchner, Suzuki GSX-R1000, -18.167
10. Troy Corser, BMW S1000RR, -25.056
11. Ruben Xaus, BMW S1000RR, -32.617
12. Yukio Kagayama, Suzuki GSX-R1000, -32.688
13. Brendan Roberts, Ducati 1098R, -37.415
14. Matteo Baiocco, Kawasaki ZX-10R, -55.088
15. Luca Scassa, Kawasaki ZX-10R, -55.325