No matter how hard Biaggi tried he could not close the gap as Spies won Race 1 with a start to finish lead.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) took his ninth World Suberbike win of the season in Race 1 at Donington Park. Starting from pole the Texan led for the entirety of the 23-lap race but was closely followed by Aprilia’s Max Biaggi. The Italian ran a perfect race in the shadow of Spies until the final lap, when a fuel-feed problem just before the finish-line and a burst of speed from Spies left the RSV4 rider seven seconds behind when he crossed in second. The second-place finish was Biaggi’s first podium since Round 2 in Qatar. Points leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) became the third rider in Superbike history to obtain 100 podiums when he took a lonely third 11 seconds behind Spies.
Fourth-place turned into a scrap between the British riders, with Stiggy Racing Honda’s Leon Haslam barely edging-out Shane Byrne on the Sterilgarda Ducati. Shinya Nakano converted his front row start into a sixth-place finish to make Race 1 a resounding success for an Aprilia team that had lost some of its momentum after a strong start to the season.
Jonathan Rea, another home-race favorite and winner of Race 2 in Misano, gained five positions from his 12th place start on the grid to finish seventh for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda. American John Hopkins made a very strong comeback to claim eighth in his first full race since sustaining a hip injury in Round 4 at Assen. A gearbox problem hampered Michel Fabrizio’s progress, but the Italian frontrunner just managed to stave off British Superbike star’s Leon Camier's advance to secure 12th. Ruben Xaus claimed the last point for BMW.
Tom Sykes had a less than perfect start to the first of his home races, losing the front and crashing as he came in hot into the hairpin on the ninth lap. BMW'sTroy Corser also crashed after finding a 'false neutral' and Tom Sykes also took his first DNF of the year after crashing.
Haga became only the third Superbike rider to reach 100 podiums, in league with Troy Corser's 128 and Carl Fogarty's 109.
World Superbike - Donington Park Race 1 Results
1. Ben Spies (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 34'57.230
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4) - 7.156
3. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati 1098R) - 10.968
4. Leon Haslam (Honda CBR1000RR) - 18.843
5. Shane Byrne (Ducati 1098R) - 19.125
6. Shinya Nakano (Aprilia RSV4) - 21.286
7. Jonathan Rea (Honda CBR1000RR) - 23.644
8. John Hopkins (Honda CBR1000RR) - 32.849
9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati 1098R) - 32.904
10. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda CBR1000RR) - 33.192
11. Carlos Checa (Honda CBR1000RR) - 34.535
12. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati 1098R) - 35.093
13. Leon Camier (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 35.441
14. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati 1098R 39.034
15. Ruben Xaus (BMW S1000RR) - 41.067
16. Matthieu Lagrive (Honda CBR1000RR) - 46.452
17. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9) - 47.924
18. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 48.246
19. Luca Scassa (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 50.932
20. Simon Andrews (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 55.032
21. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 55.216
22. Alex Polita (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9) - 1'02.758
23. David Salom (Kawasaki ZX 10R) - 1'02.977
24. David Checa (Yamaha YZF R1) - 1'12.255
25. Blake Young (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9) - 1'12.531
RET. Troy Corser (BMW S1000RR)
RET. James Ellison (Yamaha YZF-R1)
RET. Roland Resch (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9)
RET. Tom Sykes (Yamaha YZF-R1)
RET. Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati 1098R)
RET. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Honda CBR1000RR)
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) trounced the competition in a runaway Race 2 victory to sweep the Donington Park weekend. Noriyuki Haga (Xerox Honda), in contrast, had a disastrous day as he crashed out of second-place on lap 4 while entering the Coppice Corner. The Japanese rider was taken to a hospital in Derby with what appeared to be a fractured vertebra, but a later CAT scan showed that the fracture was an old injury that had since healed. Haga will still have to undergo surgery for a fractured right ulna and is also experiencing undiagnosed pain in his left shoulder. Haga might be able to return for the next round in the Czech Republic to defend his narrowed 14-point lead over Spies.
Haslam held off Fabrizio and Byrne to take second in Race 2.
Ultimately, Honda’s Leon Haslam edged-out Ducati’s Michel Fabrizio by two-tenths in a heated battle for second. Shane Byrne once again dueled with a fellow Brit, this time Yamaha factory rider Tom Sykes, to take fourth on his privateer Sterilgarda Ducati. British Superbike points leader Leon Camier showed what the talented domestic league has to offer with a strong sixth. Camier’s Airwaves Yamaha teammate James Ellison also took a convincing eighth behind Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Ruben Xaus and Simon Andrews gave two positive results to the struggling BMW and Kawasaki teams as they rounded off the top ten spots, Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) being the third British Superbike rider to score points as a wildcard in Race 2. Jonathan Rea had a disappointing run to finish fifteenth with a single point after he crashed with Aprilia's Shinya Nakano in the initial laps. The Aprilia riders couldn’t replicate their successes from Race 1, with Biaggi also crashing and suffering a hairline crack in his foot. The Roman managed to remount and finish the race in 21st. John Hopkins was too exhausted from his incredible Race 1 efforts to partake in the second heat as the American continues to recuperate from injury.
Spies' overall sweep at Donington narrows Haga's lead from 48 to 14 points.
World Superbike - Donington Park Race 2 Results
1. Ben Spies (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 35'14.788
2. Leon Haslam ( Honda CBR1000RR) - 6.622
3. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati 1098R) - 6.816
4. Shane Byrne (Ducati 1098R) - 7.349
5. Tom Sykes (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 8.145
6. Leon Camier (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 13.463
7. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda CBR1000RR) - 15.751
8. James Ellison (Yamaha YZF-R1) - 16.837
9. Ruben Xaus (BMW S1000RR) - 22.891
10. Simon Andrews (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 30.347
11. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati 1098R) - 30.622
12. Matthieu Lagrive (Honda CBR1000RR) - 31.562
13. Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9) - 32.148
14. Broc Parkes (Kawasaki ZX-10R) - 32.607
15. Jonathan Rea (Honda CBR1000RR) - 32.806
16. Lorenzo Scassa (Kawasaki ZX 10R) - 34.269
17. Blake Young (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9) - 40.644
18. Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati 1098R) - 40.956
19. David Salom (Kawasaki ZX 10R) - 41.302
20. Troy Corser (BMW S1000RR) - 42.856
21. Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4) - 47.769
RET. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Honda CBR1000RR)
RET. Roland Resch (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9)
RET. Alex Polita (Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9)
RET. Carlos Checa (Honda CBR1000RR)
RET. David Checa (Yamaha YZF R1)
RET. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati 1098R)
RET. Jakub Smrz (Ducati 1098R)
RET. Shinya Nakano (Aprilia RSV4)
RET. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki ZX 10R)
World Superbike Donington Park Post-Race Rider Quotes
Ben Spies - Yamaha World Superbike - 1st, 1st
“it was a picture perfect weekend. It was a tough race, Max was there the whole time but we were able to do quick laps to stay ahead, the last three laps I rode as hard as I could just to make sure of the win. In the second race I knew Nori had a big crash and I hope he’s ok. It’s not the way we want to win it but you have to take the points when you can. It was a good second race for us though. The track was hot and a bit slick so we made some changes to the bike which made it better from race one. It was a good job for Leon, getting on the podium at his home round was great, I know how that feels. It was tough being out on my own, I had to focus lap to lap to make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I can’t thank the Yamaha guys enough we changed a lot of things around and they came and delivered me two really good bikes to win on.”
Leon Haslam – Stiggy Racing Honda – 4th, 2nd
“There was a slower pace in race two and my problem in each race was chatter. In race two I got a little bit better start and learned a thing or two that we were struggling with. I was just catching Biaggi as he went down so it would have been another fight for third or fourth place in that race. But to hold off Fabrizio and Byrne and take second, after missing out in race one, I was pretty happy.”
Shane Byrne – Sterilgarda Ducati - 5th, 4th
"In race 1, I could've at least fought for the podium with Haga. Instead I encountered brake issues after three laps and so I couldn't be as effective under braking. In the third split, with two slow corners, I lost 6-7 tenths. In race 2, the problem was fixed and despite a bad start I managed to get back in the fight for the podium in the tenth lap. Unfortunately, this time it didn't go as I was hoping but I still proved that I have what it takes to fight for the top spots."
Michel Fabrizio - Ducati Xerox - 12th, 3rd
“Race 1 was very difficult, I had a problem with the gears and because of this I lost several positions. I couldn’t do much to improve the situation and in the end I could only bring home three points. Before Race 2 we decided to go out with the second bike. I again made a bad start but immediately started to work to regain ground. I spent most of the race battling it out against Byrne and Haslam, just managing to pass Shakey near the end. I’m happy with my race 2 result but I am of course sorry for Nori. I saw the accident and it reminded me of Troy’s crash in the same place two years ago, both serious.”
Noriyuki Haga - Ducati Xerox - 3rd, DNF
Race 1: “I’m very happy to have made the podium today because we knew it would be a very difficult weekend. I am proud to have reached the 100 podium mark! At the start of Race 1 I did all I could to stick with Max and Ben but, even though I was pushing, today they seemed to have a small advantage and I was unable to do better than third.”
Race 2: Haga, after today’s accident, was unavavilable for comment at time of print.
Tom Sykes - Yamaha World Superbike - DNF, 5th
“I found a good race setting in warm up this morning and was ready for the first race. I was very confident with my pace in the race but frustrated with my row three start. I was just breaking into a rhythm and unfortunately arrived into the last corner just a bit too hot and lost the front over the bumps, I couldn’t believe it as it was my first DNF of the year so I was looking to improve in race two. I had big issues with a lack of braking which held me up. I’m really gutted as I think it cost me a podium, and capped off a bad weekend for the points. I really thought we could come away from the weekend in fifth. On the plus side I think we’ve seen some more of the old Tom Sykes this weekend, consistent in practice and qualifying and fast and consistent in race two. I’m hoping to take this to Brno and make it work there.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari – Ten Kate Honda – 10th, 7th
"The first race was very difficult after the problems we have had during the weekend, so we made some changes to the rear for race two. In fact, it was quite a big change and we altered three things with the rear shock. On the sighting lap it felt quite OK but during the race it was better but not perfect. I hope that the test at Imola will allow us to fully test these new parts to get a better setting for the bike so I can make better results for the rest of the season."
Leon Camier – Airwaves Yamaha – 13th, 6th
“Race One was tough. I struggled with braking, steering and a lack of grip. Plus my start was horrendous. The take-off point of the clutch was different and put me into a massive wheelie. It was difficult to pass with a lack of grip and brake problems, but I had to take the chance whenever I could. I was a lot happier with Race Two. I still suffered with brake problems but I just had to ride around them and overtake at every possible opportunity. My start was only slightly better compared to Race One, but still pretty terrible. To make my way up to 6th from 20th is a big achievement, and it’s thanks to the Airwaves Yamaha team for all their hard work. Both James and I gave them a lot of re-building to do over this weekend and they did a mega job.”
Jonathan Rea – Hannspree Ten Kate Honda – 7th, 15th
“In the first race we lost five seconds to the Haslam and Byrne battle at the start and at the end of the race we were five seconds behind. I needed to be more aggressive in the second race start and it worked out; I was fifth or sixth. Then I lost the front, and looking at the telemetry I had arrived at the corner literally only a couple of kmph faster than before. We struggled in that slow sector of the racetrack all weekend.”
John Hopkins – Stiggy Racing Honda – 8th, DNS
“I got off the line really good but just poked around on the first lap and was not as aggressive as I normally am. As the adrenaline kicked in I picked my way up to gain as many positions as possible. Halfway the race the pain kicked in and I struggled to move on the bike. It is a good result for the condition I was in today. Even though I was in a lot of pain today, it was the best race I have had in the last two years. I have had a lot of fun on the bike again, and that's when you start getting faster.”
Ruben Xaus – BMW Motorrad Motorsport - 15th, 9th
“That was a tough weekend and I really know that I have done two hard races today. At the moment, the bike is very demanding physically and mentally and it requires a lot of concentration. I am happy to get a top ten finish, but I would be more happy if Troy and I would be getting top six finishes for sure. Today our bike was good in the fast corners, but we lost out on the slow ones. My riding style is more aggressive than Troy and for that you have to be 100% fit. Troy is not 100% fit yet, so he is having a harder time getting the bike round the track at the speeds he would like to do. I see positive signs ahead and I am looking forward to the next two tests.”
James Ellison – Airwaves Yamaha – DNF, 8th
“The start of Race One was pretty messy. There was a lot of fairing bashing so it was quite difficult to get a clean run to the first corner. We had a new engine for the race, and once I’d figured out how to ride it, I got my head down to chip away at the guys in front. I was looking forward to a good race, passing Hopkins and Checa cleanly. I’m so frustrated not to have finished. I lost the rear of the Airwaves Yamaha going into McLeans, but luckily I was ok for Race Two. Before the second race we made some adjustments to the engine to prevent another similar crash, but again, it took some time to get used to. I knew I had to be more aggressive off the start and tried to pass as many people as possible into the first corner. Once I got behind Tom Sykes, the plan was to stay behind and challenge later on. But my tires started to wear and I couldn’t do anything about it. This weekend has been good preparation for the rest of the BSB season, which is our main priority. I know I need to improve my riding to preserve the tires. I’m looking forward to getting to Knockhill and making use of everything we’ve learnt.”
Carlos Checa – Hannspree Ten Kate Honda – 11th, DNL
“I was able to ride a little faster because of the changes we made after race one, but I just lost the front going into Redgate. It is a shame because the changes we made were not quite enough. I have hurt my ribs as well so I am going to get myself checked-out.”
Matthieu Lagrive – Honda Althea Racing – 16th, 12th
“I was fighting with good riders like Lanzi, Kagayama, but I do not have the experience yet to really compete with them. I am OK, for me the team was really good, the settings were good and we know which direction to go in to have a top ride next time as well. I prefer to finish the first couple of Superbike races to make sure all is OK and when I grow in confidence I will try to push more.”
Yukio Kagayama - Alstare Suzuki Brux - 17th, 13th
"This weekend was not an easy one because we had problems with rear grip. We tried many different things over the weekend - suspension, geometry, gear ratios - but we were not able to improve the bike. We also tried a different swinging-arm for race two, but no big change, although he feeling was a bit better. All in all it was a frustrating time for me and my team. I know that they worked as hard as they could and I know that I rode as hard as I could, but we did not get any good results. I am a very experienced rider and my team is very knowledgeable, but we still could not find any solutions. I am sorry for Francis and the whole team because our results today were no better than a privateer."
Broc Parkes – Kawasaki World Superbike – 18th, 14th
“We got some points at the end. The first race we got a really bad start but a good pace, and came from 29th to 18th. It was a difficult weekend chassis wise and we haven’t been able to find a set-up on the bike that handled well. Second race we had a much better start but in the middle it started jumping out of gear, selecting neutrals, coming in and out. I think I chose the wrong tyre for race two compared to race one, because the lap times were not quite as good. That was just because of the slight change in track temperature, I think.”
Blake Young – Alstare Suzuki Brux - 25th, 17th
"Race two was obviously better for me than race one, but I would've liked to have done better still. I made pretty good starts in both races, but it's difficult in the early stages of the races because everybody is dive-bombing each other! Once the packs split up a bit, it was easier for me to get a good rhythm. This has been a great learning experience for me and I would like to do it again. The team has been great and I would like to thank Francis Batta and Alstare for giving me this tremendous opportunity."
Troy Corser – BMW Motorrad Motorsport - DNF, 20th
“For me, it was a terrible day and not such a good weekend. All weekend, I have being having a problem because of the lack of grip and today it was as bad as it has ever been. The bike felt hard to ride today and I got a lot of wheelspin and found it hard to stop it wheelieing. In race one, the bike just jumped out of gear when I tried to backshift from third to second and I was forced into the gravel and had to lay the bike down. Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself at all, but it was an unnecessary crash. Race two was all about grip, or lack of it. But I kept going, even though I was losing places, because I wanted to give the team as much telemetry info as possible.”
Jamie Hacking – Kawasaki World Superbike – 21st, DNL
“In race one I wasn’t comfortable starting that far back after seeing how crazy the starts are, so I backed off a bit and was last away. I played catch up as far as I could and then I had really bad arm pump from hanging on so hard. I struggled from then on. We had some discussions about doing the approach to Coppice a different way in race two, and I gave it a try and the bike ran off the racetrack into the gravel trap. I had it pretty much saved but it finally spun out and toppled over.”