World Superbikes, Valencia: Haga Breaks the Spies Spell

By Mike Nicks -

World Superbikes

 05 April 2009 17:04

Noriyuki Haga won the second race in the World Superbike Championship round at Valencia today on his Xerox Ducati, and proved decisively that the American new boy Ben Spies can be beaten on equal terms.

In this race Spies stayed on his Yamaha R1 – he dropped it in the first encounter – but still trailed in second by 5.105s to a raging Haga.

Haga’s double win gives him a 40-point lead in the championship, and the prospect that the 34-year-old Japanese might finally win it after twice finishing second.

Michele Fabrizio crowned a fabulous weekend for the Xerox Ducati 1098R machines by claiming his second podium of the weekend, with third place, just ahead of Regis Laconi on the DFX Ducati.

Leon Haslam continued the fighting form that has made him Britain’s top superbike rider this season, blazing through from the third row to claim fifth place on his Stiggy Honda, from Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda).

It was a disappointing weekend for the two new factory teams in the championship, Aprilia and BMW. After qualifying for the fifth row, Max Biaggi fought through to eighth place on an RSV4 that earlier in practice looked like a potential winner, and Troy Corser could only finish 15th on the BMW S1000RR.

The other Brits? Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) was 11th, a troubled Johnny Rea (Ten Kate Honda) 13th and Tommy Hill (Althea Honda) 22nd.