World Superbike Salt Lake Race 1 Results

May 31, 2009
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.

Ben Spies delivered for the American home SBK crowd by claiming the Race 1 victory at Miller Motorsports Park. The 24-year-old Texan took the win handily, joined on the Race 1 podium by Honda’s Carlos Checa and Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio. The championship points leader, Noriyuki Haga, finished a distant ninth.

Texan Ben Spies was on the gas at Miller and the American pulled through on Sunday.
The red flag restart wouldn’t hinder Ben Spies from taking the checkers on Race 1.

Spies scored a big lead on start of race, setting the lap record on Lap 2. Nakano and Kiyonari battled for second with Biaggi, Hacking and Haga in the mix. On Lap 6 hacking was in fourth and Haga started to slow, maybe feeling effects of yesterday’s crash in qualifying. Nakano was running second but crashed about the same time as Karl Muggeridge, which brought out the red flag.

Restarting the race, Spies didn’t have to jump up front with a his four-second advantage at the end of Lap 5 factored into the aggregate time scoring of SBK. That didn’t stop the American, however, from getting the early lead again with Kiyonari in second. The Japanese rider yielded the position to his teammate, Checa. Meanwhile, Hacking suffered greatly from the red flag, forced back from fourth to sixth (the position at the finish of Lap 5) and after a terrible re-start found himself in ninth.

The racing was confusing for the Miller fans, as aggregate scoring meant position on track didn’t correspond to final results. Luckily Spies made it easy by pulling a huge gap on the rest of the field.

Hacking moved up to seventh, holding the spot alone until the end while Haga was fading in ninth before getting a new wind and battling for eighth with Ducati satellite rider, Shane Byrne. As for the BMW, Ruben Xaus is struggled second to last.

In the final laps Spies cruised way ahead of Checa, who was followed by Jonathan Rea. Leaving Max Biaggi and Fabrizio to dice for fourth – the only real good battle going into final lap.

The victory is Spies’ sixth of the year. The win moves the Texan past Fabrizio for second in the overall points and cuts Haga’s lead to an even 70. Now Spies will further attempt to close the sizable points gap in afternoon’s Race 2.

World Superbike Salt Lake Race 1 Results:

Noriyuki Haga in action at Utahs Miller Motorsports Park.
Noriyuki Haga gave ground to Ben Spies in Race 1 at Miller.

1. Ben Spies (Yamaha)
2. Carlos Checa (Honda)
3. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati)
4. Riyuichi Kiyonari (Honda)
5. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
7. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
8. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
9. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati)
10. Leon Haslam (Honda)
11. Shane Byrne (Ducati)
12. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki)
13. Tom Sykes (Yamaha)
14. Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati)
15. Troy Corser (BMW)
18. Jake Zemke (Honda)
21. Ruben Xaus (BMW)
DNF Shinya Nakano (Aprilia)
DNF Karl Muggeridge (Suzuki)

2009 SBK Championship Points:
1. Haga 257
2. Spies 187
3. Fabrizio 181
4. Haslam 122
5. Rea 117
6. Biaggi 113
7. Sykes 106
8. Checa 93
9. Kiyonari 85
10. Laconi 77

World Superbike Salt Lake Race 1 Podium Quotes:
Ben Spies – Yamaha – 1st:
  “We’ve been working on our starts a bit and this is a long straightaway and I really needed to get a good one here. After the restart it was tough because I really wanted to win on the road and couldn’t take too many risks to keep Carlos at bay. I just wanted to cross the line first even though I had a six-second cushion.”

Carlos Checa – Honda – 2nd: “From the beginning Ben was too strong today. I didn’t have so much grip in the first part but then we adjusted the tyre pressure and it was better in the second. The Honda is working well here, we have a good base from last year and we used that benefit to get at a certain level and get a good result. We needed this result because it has not been so good for us since the start of the year.”

Michel Fabrizio – Ducati – 3rd: “It’s a pity about the second start, I felt a bit like a ping-pong ball, because I was under attack from all sides by three of four other guys. Luckily, I managed to stay upright. Afterwards I managed to run at my own pace and get onto the podium for a good result.”

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