Phillip Island WSB: Haga and Spies share spoils

Published: 01 March 2009

Ducati rider Noriyuki Haga and WSB rookie Ben Spies took a win each at the opening round of the season at Phillip Island.

Race one

Haga made his intentions for the season clear by taking the win in race one after Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea led early on.

Haga got off to an amazing start, finding himself second on the first lap, despite qualifying in 13th position.

Haga easily despatched Rea to take the lead, but he was soon followed by Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner.

Neukirchner and Haga battled at the front, with Haga choosing to follow Neukirchner for several laps after the Suzuki rider overtook him.

Not till the final lap, after light rain started to fall was Haga able to make a move stick. Neukirchner had a big rear end slide at the top of Lukey heights enabling Haga to comfortably move in to the lead to take the win.

Haga said: "First of all I want to say the qualifier wasn't so good because I don't like this new system. The start was fantastic. Me and Max had a good battle but the conditions were quite nervous and it started raining so it was difficult."

Ben Spies was unable to run at the front in race one after being forced off track at the first corner. Spies managed to finish 16th.

Rea was the top Brit, finishing fifth with Stiggy Honda rider Leon Haslam sixth. Tom Sykes and Tommy Hill finished 10th and 14th respectively. Shane Byrne retired after seven laps.

BMW rider Troy Corser had an impressive race on the new bike, finishing eighth. Team-mate Ruben Xaus finished 19th.

The new Aprilia team had an equally impressive race as ex-MotoGP riders Max Biaggi and Shinya Nakano finished 11th and 15th.

Race one results

Race two

Yamaha rider Ben Spies bounced back from his disappointing race one result to comfortably win the second race.

Spies managed to get a good start to stay clear of the middle of the pack which saw him run off in race one and from there he showed impressive pace. Only race one victor Haga could challenge Spies.

Spies (USA), said: "The race was really tough and we tried to break away a couple of times but couldn't. When their tyres went off I just got to the front and put my head down.

"It was a hard race but very fun. I got caught out in the first race but we regrouped and in the second race we kept the pace high."

Haga and Spies pulled away from the chasing pack of Max Biaggi, Michel Fabrizio, Leon Haslam and Regis Laconi.

Biaggi looked the favourite to take the final step of the podium but was passed by Haslam and Fabrizio in the final stages of the race. Biaggi crashed on the final lap after he almost ran in to the back of Fabrizio.

Leon Haslam was the top Brit, riding impressively to finish third. Haslam said after the race: "Credit has got to go to the team. Three months ago they were only just building the bike. There was a bit of argy bargy with Fabrizio today, but that's what WSB is all about."

Rea, Sykes and Hill rounded off an impressive weekend for the Brits finishing ninth, 10th and 14th.

BMW and Aprilia, the two new teams for 2009 weren't able to repeat their impressive first race results. Xaus and Corser finished 11th and 22nd, while Nakano and Biaggi finished 12th and 15th.

Race two results

Results

Race one
1. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1098R 34mins 22.631s
2. Max Neukirchner GER Alstare Suzuki GSX-R 1000K9 +0.032s
3. Yukio Kagayama JPN Alstare Suzuki GSX-R 1000K9 +5.347s
4. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1098R +6.587s
5. Jonathan Rea GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +8.491s
6. Leon Haslam GBR Stiggy Motorsport Honda CBR1000RR +8.523s
7. Regis Laconi FRA DFX Corse Ducati 1098R +8.766s
8. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +11.589s
9. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandalini Racing Ducati 1098R +11.721s
10. Tom Sykes GBR Yamaha Italia YZF R1 +11.761s
11. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Racing RSV-4 +12.609s
12. Carlos Checa ESP HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +19.096s
13. Roberto Rolfo ITA Stiggy Motorsport Honda CBR1000RR +24.149s
14. Tommy Hill GBR HANNspree Althea Honda CBR1000RR +27.416s
15. Shinya Nakano JPN Aprilia Racing RSV-4 +28.173s
16. Ben Spies USA Yamaha Italia YZF R1 +28.235s
17. Brendan Roberts AUS Guandalini Racing Ducati 1098R +37.348s
18. Makoto Tamada JPN Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +37.401s
19. Ruben Xaus ESP BMW Motorrad S1000RR +42.614s
20. Luca Scassa ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1mi 03.794s
21. David Salom ESP Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +2 laps

Race two
1. Ben Spies USA Yamaha Italia YZF R1 34mins 20.457s
2. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1098R +1.286s
3. Leon Haslam GBR Stiggy Motorsport Honda CBR1000RR +4.213s
4. Regis Laconi FRA DFX Corse Ducati 1098R +4.490s
5. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1098R +6.045s
6. Max Neukirchner GER Alstare Suzuki GSX-R 1000K9 +9.947s
7. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandalini Racing Ducati 1098R +10.174s
8. Yukio Kagayama JPN Alstare Suzuki GSX-R 1000K9 +12.100s
9. Jonathan Rea GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +12.742s
10. Tom Sykes GBR Yamaha Italia YZF R1 +20.061s
11. Ruben Xaus ESP BMW Motorrad S1000RR +24.854s
12. Shinya Nakano JPN Aprilia Racing RSV-4 +25.192s
13. Carlos Checa ESP HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +27.162s
14. Tommy Hill GBR HANNspree Althea Honda CBR1000RR +29.737s
15. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Racing RSV-4 +30.036s
16. Roberto Rolfo ITA Stiggy Motorsport Honda CBR1000RR +38.458s
17. Makoto Tamada JPN Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R +44.453s
18. Broc Parkes AUS Kawasaki SRT ZX-0R +45.486s
19. Brendan Roberts AUS Guandalini Racing Ducati 1098R +46.198s
20. Luca Scassa ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +57.921s
21. Karl Muggeridge AUS Celani Suzuki GSX-R1000 +57.989s
22. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +1min 0.093s
23. Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR +1min 7.820s
24. Matteo Baiocco ITA PSG-1 Kawasaki ZX-10R +1min 21.224s
25. David Salom ESP Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1min 21.276s

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  • Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies took a win each at Phillip Island