WSB's Defining moment number 1 - Race of the year
With 28 WSB races in 2009 it’s hard to single out the best on track battles of the season. As far as stand alone rides go, the winner has to be Jonathan Rea taking his first WSB victory at Misano while be hounded by air pair of factory Ducati's.
Up until the Italian race in June, race wins were the exclusive property of Ben Spies (seven), Noriyuki Haga (six) and Michel Fabrizio (one). But in the second race of the day in scorching conditions, Brit star Jonathan Rea changed all that.
In what was his first race weekend using Ohlins suspension, the 22 year old showed why he is a world champion in the making by going head to head with Ducati pairing Haga and Fabrizio over the full 24 lap race.
Rea soaked up intense pressure from the two factory Ducati men to take his first WSB race victory by just 0.063 seconds. His results was the catalyst for ever improving results with five more podiums including another race win in the final six rounds of the series.
In terms of the race that epitomised the season, look no further than the opener at Assen where season long title rivals Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga went head to head.
With the battle lines drawn after the opening three rounds, Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga fought like it was a title decider. Spies eventually won out, just like he did in the overall standings, with a breathtaking pass on Haga at the 120mph right kink towards the end of the lap leaving no time for Haga to respond.
The race wasn’t just about Spies and Haga on that day, who can forget Brit star Leon Haslam’s race long charge onboard his Stiggy Honda. Haslam’s pass on Spies and subsequent bar to bar racing had race fans around the world on their feet and will go down in Superbike history. At the end of the race just 0.779 seconds separated the three men.