Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam won Race 1 at Valencia in World Superbike racing action.
The World Superbike
races from Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain saw Alstare Suzuki's Leon Haslam and Xerox Ducati's Noriyuki Haga split race wins in the premier class. Alitalia Aprilia's Max Biaggi claimed a double podium finish, with Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa and Sterilgarda Yamaha's James Toseland snaring a podium apiece.
In the first race it was Haslam besting the rest of the field and crossing the checkered flag nearly two seconds ahead of Aprilia’s Max Biaggi.
"To make the break was a bit of a surprise, because I felt we could race the other guys, but for sure it would be a big battle to the end,” said Haslam after securing his second race win of the season. “But when I got to the lead I saw the lap times I was doing were not so great and I knew that Max and the others guys could go quicker, it had been proven. But I kept my rhythm and when I saw a small gap behind I pushed again and the gap became bigger and bigger. It's great to win another race and leave with the championship lead."
Third place went to Toseland, who was just one second off Biaggi’s RSV4 Superbike. This would be the former World Superbike Champ’s best finishing position with his new team.
“I think Max [Biaggi] was slightly faster than me after half race distance in Race 1,” commented Toseland. “But I was stronger where you can pass another rider, and that made it difficult for him to overtake. Once he did get past, he helped me take a couple of tenths of a second from my lap times and I kept ahead of Corser and Haga."
Early race leader, Carlos Checa dropped out after leading the first two of 23 laps. He was replaced by Troy Corser and his factory BMWS1000RR Superbike. However, Corser’s turn at the front only lasted for two laps, when Haslam took control on Lap 5. Corser would eventually take home a fourth-place finish giving BMW its best World Superbike result to date.
Former World Superbike Champ and MotoGP rider James Toseland finally put his Yamaha YZF-R1 on the box during Race 1 at Valencia.
Finishing right on the heels of Corser was Haga—a mere tenth of a second behind. The second Xerox Ducati piloted by Michel Fabrizio didn’t finish the race due to a crash late in the race. HANNspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea finished in sixth position over five seconds behind Haga.
Just under a second behind was Superpole winner Cal Crutchlow aboard his Sterligarda-backed Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike. American Roger Lee Hayden also recorded his best finish of the year in 16th, some 48 seconds behind the race winner—and most importantly ahead of his Italian teammate.
In the second race Nitro Nori took his first win of the season via aggregate times from the first and second half of the race, due to a red flag. Second place went Checa, followed by Biaggi. Haslam finished in fourth.
The race was originally red flagged after the conclusion of Lap 3 following a peculiar high-speed crash involving Simon Andrews and Vittorio Iannuzzo near the finish line. Andrew’s broke two bones in his foot in the crash while Iannuzzo made it out okay.
On the restart it was the second factory Aprilia piloted by Leon Camier at the front and trailed by Biaggi and Checa. Camier crashed out of the lead on Lap 10 and relinquished control to Biaggi. On Lap 12, Haga would overtake both Biaggi and Checa for the lead and would hold onto it for the remaining 8 laps.
“I like Valencia a lot. I am Mr Valencia!” said Haga. “Before the red flag in race two I made a good start and was in fifth position. In the restart I started from fifth and I kept a good pace. It was not easy to catch and pass the top two riders but in the last few laps I pushed hard and took the win. I was not thinking about the time difference I just knew I had to go at the front."
Xerox Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga won his first race of the season at Valencia.
Fabrizio would encounter more problems in Race 2 retiring from the race prematurely. Cal Crutchlow also had a disappointing result finishing in ninth position some 14 seconds behind the leader. The BMW team was also out of the top-10 with riders Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser finishing 11th and 12th, respectively. Hayden also couldn’t better his Race 1 result, finishing 19th but still ahead of his teammate Matteo Baiocco.
After three rounds, Haslam retains an 18-point lead in the World Championship points over Biaggi and Checa. Meanwhile Haga now sits in fourth position courtesy of his Race 2 win, followed by Jonathan Rea who is in fifth position.
In the World Supesport class, Kawasaki Motocard.com’s Joan Lascorz won his home race in front of an huge Spanish crowd over Ten Kate Honda man Kenan Sofuoglu and ParkinGO Triumph BE1’s Chaz Davies. Fouth place went to Davies teammate David Salom. Fifth was Eugene Laverty, who was piloting an Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR. There were a total of seven crashes in the 23-lap race with only 12 of the 19 riders able to finish.
Valencia World Superbike Race 1 Results:
1. Leon Haslam, Suzuki GSX-R1000
2. Max Biaggi, Aprilia RSV4
3. James Toseland, Yamaha YZF-R1
4. Troy Corser, BMW S1000RR
5. Noriyuki Haga, Ducati 1198R
6. Jonathan Rea, Honda CBR1000RR
7. Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha YZF-R1
8. Lorenzo Lanzi, Ducati 1198R
9. Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki GSX-R1000
10. Jakub Smrz, Ducati 1198R
Valencia World Superbike Race 2 Results:
1. Noriyuki Haga, Ducati 1198R
2. Carlos Checa, Ducati 1198R
3. Max Biaggi, Aprilia RSV4
4. Leon Haslam, Suzuki GSX-R1000
5. Jonathan Rea, Honda CBR1000RR
6. Sylvain Guintoli, Suzuki GSX-R1000
7. James Toseland, Yamaha YZF-R1
8. Shane Byrne, Ducati 1198R
9. Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha YZF-R1
10. Jakub Smrz, Ducati Ducati 1198R
Valencia World Supersport Results:
1. Joan Lascorz, Kawasaki ZX-6R
2. Kenan Sofuoglu, Honda CBR600RR
3. Chaz Davies, Triumph Daytona 675
4. David Salom, Triumph Daytona 675
5. Eugene Laverty, Honda CBR600RR
6. Gino Rea, Honda CBR600RR
7. Matthieu Lagrive, Triumph Daytona 675
8. Alexander Lundh, Honda CBR600RR
9. Robbin Harms, Honda CBR600RR
10. Fabien Foret, Kawasaki ZX-6R