Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga has won race one of the World Superbikes at the Lausitzring in Germany.
The Japanese rider took full advantage of tyre problems which forced initial leader Xerox Ducati’s Troy Bayliss and championship leader James Toseland out of competitive rides.
Pirelli were expecting issues with the tyres after the lack of dry practice meant there was little data for them to select the perfect compound.
And from the beginning Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s James Toseland was the biggest victim as he had no grip on the back.
Troy Bayliss got a good start and led in to the first corner. The Kawasaki of Fonsi Nieto managed to hang on in to third but had Max Biaggi hot on his heels.
Britain’s James Toseland managed to get up to fifth by the end of lap one from his starting spot of seventh.
Australia’s Troy Bayliss had pulled away to create a 2.679 second lead by the end of lap two, while James Toseland lost his fifth place to Ruben Xaus.
By the end of lap three Troy Bayliss had pulled away to create a 2.99 second gap from Yamaha’s Noriyuki Haga and looked like heading straight for the chequered flag.
Ruben Xaus lost the front end of his bike to crash out on lap five. He managed to get going again at the back of the field.
Max Neukirchner was the next to come off on lap seven but he was not as lucky as Xaus and could not restart. Wildcard Martin Bauer was the next victim of the undulating circuit.
James Toseland’s bad day continued as he was overtaken by Michel Fabrizio but Fabrizio was to crash out less than a lap later.
By lap 12 Troy Bayliss was beginning to struggle and Noriyuki Haga began to pull in the gap. By lap 14 the time difference was down to 0.8secs as Troy Bayliss’s lap times slid as the laps went by.
Noriyuki Haga took the lead from Troy Bayliss on lap 15 as Troy Bayliss’s tyre problems continued. And with James Toseland down in seventh with his own tyre wearing issues, this made things interesting in the World Championship standings.
Noriyuki Haga immediately pulled away from Troy Bayliss to build a 1.478sec gap by the end of lap 15.
James Toseland lost out to pole man Fonsi Nieto on lap 18 to slip to eighth.
By lap 20 Noriyuki Haga had victory well within his sights with a 8.292 lead over Troy Bayliss.
Veterans Troy Bayliss, Max Biaggi and Troy Corser were fighting it out for second on lap 21 but Bayliss did not have much fight left as he struggled to preserve his beaten up tyre and went down to fourth in one corner.
The Biaggi and Corser battle continued as Noriyuki Haga left the pair to fight it out for the other podium positions as he pulled away to 12.614secs.
Alstare Suzuki’s Max Biaggi experienced a problem on the green flag lap when he was unable to start his bike but this did not faze the Italian as he fought hard for his second place.
And James Toseland’s hard race was not over as he had Lorenzo Lanzi and Karl Muggeridge breathing down his neck as his lap times continued to slide. Lanzi caught him before the chequered flag but Toseland managed to hold off Muggeridge to finish seventh.
Britain’s Dean Ellison retired from the race to the pits on lap 15.
Speaking after te race Noriyuki Haga dedicated his race win to a friend who died testing in Japan last week.
He added: "I thank you for the weather because if it's raining I'm dead!
"Troy Bayliss was gonig very fast, I caught up with him but I had to try to push again."
Lausitzring World Superbikes race one results:
1 Noriyuki HAGA JPN Yamaha YZF-R1 1'57.782
2 Max BIAGGI ITA Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 1'56.746
3 Troy CORSER AUS Yamaha YZF-R1 1'55.360
4 Troy BAYLISS AUS Ducati 999 F07 1'55.196
5 Roberto ROLFO ITA Honda CBR1000RR 1'59.127
6 Regis LACONI FRA Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'54.559
7 Fonsi NIETO ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'50.681
8 Lorenzo LANZI ITA Ducati 999 F07 2'01.899
9 James TOSELAND GBR Honda CBR1000RR 1'57.384
10 Karl MUGGERIDGE AUS Honda CBR1000RR 2'02.930
11 Shinichi NAKATOMI JPN Yamaha YZF-R1 2'05.278
12 Ruben XAUS ESP Ducati 999 F06 1'57.271
13 Jakub SMRZ CZE Ducati 999 F05 1'41.369
14 Steve MARTIN AUS Suzuki GSX-R1000 K6 1'41.464
15 Yoann TIBERIO FRA Honda CBR1000RR 1'42.068
16 Jiri DRAZDAK CZE Yamaha YZF-R1 1'42.950