WSB’s Defining moment number 3 - Ducati team orders
The 2009 title race will be remembered for two things – Ben Spies, and Ducati team orders or - lack of them.
For the first half of the season Ducati had both riders fighting for the title, but as the season reached it’s climax it became a head to head battle between Haga and Spies.
Despite the closeness of competition, Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi chose not to issue any team orders, which ultimately could have changed the outcome of the championship.
The first opportunity for team orders was Imola race two.
With Spies having a bad day at the office it was prime time for Haga to stamp his authority back on the title clash.
But having won race one he had to watch his team-mate Fabrizio take the honours in race two – sacrificing five valuable championship points in the process.
At Portimao Haga had to watch Fabrizio win again in race two.
It’s difficult to say if these ten points would have changed the outcome of the series because Spies would have ridden accordingly in the final race at Portimao, instead of cruising home in fifth, but for the stats show that Haga could have had ten more points and Spies only won the title by six.