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Qatar World Superbikes: Fonsi Nieto records first World Superbike victory in Qatar

Published: 23 February 2008

It started all Yamaha and finished all Spanish in the second World Superbike race in Qatar.

Experienced Yamaha team-mates Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga started strongly but the Ducati 1098, new to World Superbikes this year, put the pressure on and looked like taking a podium clean sweep.

But going in to the final laps Spaniard Fonsi Nieto was a man on a mission and enjoyed his first World Superbike victory ahead of fellow Spaniard Ruben Xaus.

Troy Corser got the lead from the start with Yamaha team-mate Noriyuki Haga right behind him.

Shinichi Nakatomi was the first victim of the race as he crashed out on lap one. Alstare Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama was next to crash out a lap later.

Noriyuki Haga, riding with an injured right wrist after his lap one crash, was not giving Corser anything and was right behind him.

Third placed Fonsi Nieto on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K8 was the first to record a fastest lap at 1:59.667 on lap three despite his battle with Sterilgarda’s Max Biaggi.

And the times kept falling as the battle heated up on the following lap with Nieto setting a 1:59.156. And the flying Spaniard did not stop there as he tore past the Yamaha duo in front. Corser did manage to regain his lead just a corner later but Haga was held off in third.

Haga did manage to climb back to second on lap six and the gap between the Yamaha team-mates was just 0.071secs at the end of the lap.

Nieto reclaimed second going over the line to start the ninth lap and soon Haga had Max Biaggi close behind and lost third place also just three corners later. And being a man on a mission the Italian was up to second before the end of the lap.

Haga’s bad day continued with Ducati’s Troy Bayliss taking his fifth place on his way up the field.

But the fun wasn’t over at the front as Biaggi grabbed first at the half way mark and his bullying also let Nieto through for second. The battle was on between five riders – Biaggi, Ruben Xaus, Nieto, Corser and Bayliss - all wanting to get to the podium.

Italian Michel Fabrizio found himself I the mix with seven laps to go and took Troy Corser for sixth, while Bayliss had got himself in to third.

And in a near repeat to race one Troy Bayliss was a determined man climbing through the places and took Xaus for second. But Xaus was not giving up and passed both the Ducati rider and Sterilgarda Go Eleven team-mate Max Biaggi.

Bayliss was knocked down to fourth on lap 13 as Fonsi Nieto passed the Australian. Nieto then put Biaggi down to third with four laps to go.

Alstare Suzuki’s Fonsi Nieto took the lead as he crossed over the line to start lap 16.

And the Spaniard claimed his first victory in his first weekend for the Alstare Suzuki team with fellow countryman Ruben Xaus right behind him in second.

Troy Bayliss leads the championship at the end of this weekend from Max Biaggi.

Qatar World Superbike race two top ten results:

1. Fonsi Nieto ESP Alstare Suzuki

2. Ruben Xaus ESP Sterilgarda Go Eleven

3. Max Biaggi ITA Sterilgarda Go Eleven

4. Troy Bayliss AUS Ducati Xerox

5. Michael Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox

6. Lorenzo Lanzi ITA RG Team Ducati

7. Troy Corser AUS Yamaha

8. Max Neukirchner GER Alstare Suzuki

9. Jakub Smrz CZE Guandilini Racing

10. Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Hannspree Ten Kate Honda