Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga and Yamaha’s Ben Spies split wins at the opening round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship. Joining the Japanese and American riders on the Phillip Island podiums were Suzuki’s Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama, along with Honda’s Leon Haslam.
Nitro Nori got 2009 off to a blistering start with a 25-point victory aboard his new Xerox Ducati 1098R.
Haga claimed the top position in Race 1, the Xerox Ducati rider finishing where the 1098R left on in 2008. The Neukirchner/Kagayama duo of Alstare Suzukis bested Haga’s teammate, Michel Fabrizio, to hold the rostrum positions. Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea rounded out the top five.
Spies started the race from pole position, but the American’s race debut fell flat when on-track incidents caused a trip to the gravel. The Yamaha rider rejoined the race to finish 16th, better than half the entries yet out of the points.
Other notable finishes include the debut manufactuers, BMW and Aprilia. Corser got the better results in Race 1, finishing eighth on the BMW S1000RR and setting the fastest lap on the new Beemer. Biaggi, who surprised with a second-place Superpole result, finished Race 1 in 11th.
1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati
2. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki 0.032
3. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki 5.347
4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 6.587
5. Rea J. (GBR) Honda 8.491
6. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda 8.523
7. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 8.766
8. Corser T. (AUS) BMW 11.589
9. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 11.721
10 Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha 11.761
11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia 12.609
12. Checa C. (ESP) Honda 19.096
13. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda 24.149
14. Hill T. (GBR) Honda 27.416
15.Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia 28.173
16. Spies B.(USA) Yamaha 28.235
Ben Spies ran into the gravel in Race 1, but the AMA Superbike import got back to familiar form with a Race 2 win.
Spies scored an impressive win in the second race, fighting for the win with Haga. The new R1 pilot managed to pull away in the final laps, with Nitro Nori holding second to the flag. Stiggy Honda’s Leon Haslam took third, the former British Superbike racer beating a pair of Ducatis – Regis Laconi and Fabrizio.
As for the Aprilia and BMW, Biaggi’s 15th-place result is misleading, as the Roman was in the podium mix before running off-track. As such, it was Shinya Nakano who got the better RSV4 finish in 12th. Ruben Xaus was the faster BMW Motorrad rider, finishing 11th with Corser in 22nd after running into tire troubles.
1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha
2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1.286
3. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda 4.213
4. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 09 4.490
5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 6.045
6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki 9.947
7. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 10.174
8. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki 1000 K9 12.100
9. Rea J. (GBR) Honda 12.742
10. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha 20.061
11. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW 24.854
12. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia 25.192
13. Checa C. (ESP) Honda 27.162
14. Hill T. (GBR) Honda 29.737
15. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia 30.036
16. Rolfo R. (ITA) Honda 38.458
With 45 points the double podium finish gives Haga a 15-point advantage over his nearest rival, Neukirchner. A consistent Haslam is third overall at 26. Meanwhile Spies is just one point behind the Honda rider and the young Texan looks to be Haga’s best rival in the title hunt.
World Superbike Points:
1. Haga (Ducati) 45
2. Neukirchner (Suzuki) 30
3. Haslam (Honda) 26
4. Spies (Yamaha) 25
5. Kagayama (Suzuki) 24
6. Fabrizio (Ducati) 24
7. Laconi (Ducati) 22
8. Rea (Honda) 18
9. Smrz (Ducati) 16
10 Sykes (Yamaha) 12
1. Ducati 45
2. Yamaha 31
3. Suzuki 30
4. Honda 27
5. BMW 13
6. Aprilia 9
Phillip Island World Supersport Results
Press Release Courtesy of World Superbike
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) won a superb opening World Supersport race in a three-way sprint to the line. The Turk, 2007 champion in the category, took the flag ahead of Australian riders Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda). Honda, winners of the mid-range Supersport category for the last seven years, begin the new season with four CBR-RR machines in the top 4 places, with fourth going to Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) of Ireland. For 24 year-old Sofuoglu, the win is his eleventh in the series, while Honda celebrate their 63rd win out of 117 Supersport races. The Yamahas, which looked good in qualifying, finished fifth in the hands of Cal Crutchlow and seventh with Fabien Foret, who raced with a partially dislocated right shoulder following his crash on Saturday. Spain’s Joan Lascorz made his debut for Kawasaki with an encouraging seventh place. The new Triumph 675 also had a positive start, with Gianluca Nannelli finishing tenth and Garry McCoy fourteenth.
1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR
2. Pitt A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 0.060
3. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 0.153
4. Crutchlow C. (GBR)Yamaha YZF R6 1.097
5 Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1.098
6. Aitchison M. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 3.631
7. Foret F. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 5.023
8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.540
Points (after 1 round of 14):
1. Sofuoglu (Honda) 25
2. Pitt (Honda) 20
3. West (Honda) 16
4. Crutchlow (Yamaha) 13
5. Laverty (Honda) 11
6. Aitchison (Honda) 10
7. Foret (Yamaha) 9
8. Lascorz (Kawasaki) 8