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Old 03-14-2009, 10:42 PM   #21
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:55 PM   #22
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Spies (Yamaha) does Qatar double at Losail

Update: March 14, 2009, 16.50 PM ET

Yamaha's WSBK rookie rider Ben Spies took a spectacular double win in the second round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at the Losail circuit in Qatar. The 24 year-old Texan powered to his third win in the opening four races, dominating both today's 18-lappers and twice finishing ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia), who were classified second and third to make up identical podiums.

Race 1

Poleman Spies made his attack six laps from the end, and immediately pulled out a gap that allowed him to administer his lead until the flag. There was a great scrap for the runner-up slot between Haga and Biaggi, with the Japanese rider getting the nod. For Aprilia it was their first podium since returning to WSBK, and the Italian manufacturer's competitiveness was confirmed by fourth place for Shinya Nakano. Fifth went to Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate), the first Honda rider to the flag, who managed to hold off the attacks of the determined British duo of Shane Byrne (Sterilgarda Ducati) and Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike). Troy Corser scored an encouraging ninth place for BMW, while Kawasaki notched up their first points in this year's championship with a 14th place for Broc Parkes. Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare) and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had disappointing races, both riders crashing out.

Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike): "It was an extremely tough race, I had an OK start and when I got to the back of Nori and Max, we were all very strong on separate parts of the track. I was lacking a little bit off the last corner and it was very hard to make the pass, but once past, I put my head down and was able to keep it clean for the win despite a couple of mistakes."

Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox): "It was quite hard at the end, I got a good start and after a few laps I was able to pass Max on the straight. A few laps more and he passed me again and it was difficult for me to catch up. I pushed on the last lap and did it and was very happy with the result."

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing): "I tried to keep up and have a good rhythm without losing concentration. We have a new bike and every session we try to improve, but it's not easy to win right away. These guys did a great job, I rode very hard and today I was comfy, both front and rear, and looking good."

Results: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 36'06.304 (160,93 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1.893; 3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 2.168; 4. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 12.061; 5. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 12.597; 6. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 12.971; 7. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 13.570; 8. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 19.306; 9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 19.388; 10. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 20.981; 11. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 21.164; 12. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 21.994; 13. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 22.917; 14. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 27.218; 15. Hill T. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 31.602

Race 2

Spies also went on to take the win in race 2, confirming himself and his Yamaha to be the strongest combination in this early part of the season. This time the Texan had a different strategy, taking control in the early laps of the race and then gradually pulling away. Behind there was another terrific scrap for the runner-up slot between Haga and Biaggi, and once again second place went to the Japanese rider, who holds on to his points lead in the table. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda Racing) scored an excellent fourth place, but was unable to get in amongst the podium battle. Fifth place went to Sykes, while Neukirchner just got the edge over Nakano in a photo-finish. BMW made a major leap forward with Corser running fifth in the early stages, both the Australian and Xaus scoring top 10 points finishes. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had a day to forget with a second DNF finish in two races.

Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike): "Nori set a really good pace the first few laps. We were lacking just a little in acceleration and it was hard to race with him, but I put my head down and closed up, kept the same rhythm and passed him. It was a better race for me than the first one because I could concentrate on my lines, but it's going to be hard making up points on him if he keeps finishing second. It was a perfect weekend, they're not always going to be like that but we'll take them when we can."

Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox): "I am really tired but happy for the result in race 2. When Ben passed me, I tried to stay with him but he is very fast. In one second he was going to 100 metres so I could not catch him! We made a good job, and I am leading the championship. Today, for me, Ben is ten years younger than me so that's why I lose!"

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing): "It was a great race, we confirmed our potential and the feeling we have on this track, which has always been good to me. I think the bike works well, we still have to improve but we are very pleased with the result. For sure we know these guys are a little bit quicker, they run hard and deserve what they did, but I am confident to improve during the season and get some good points."

Results: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 36'02.126 (161,241 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1.274; 3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1.622; 4. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1.845; 5. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 5.117; 6. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 9.512; 7. Nakano S. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 9.514; 8. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 12.621; 9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 13.842; 10. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 13.884; 11. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 13.888; 12. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 14.913; 13. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 15.762; 14. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 15.920; 15. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 19.565

Points (after 2 of 14 rounds): 1. Haga 85; 2. Spies 75; 3. Neukirchner 40; 4. Biaggi 38; 5. Haslam 36; 6. Sykes 32; 7. Laconi 30; 8. Rea 30; 9. Nakano 27; 10. Kagayama 25. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 85; 2. Yamaha 81; 3. Honda 51; 4. Aprilia 41; 5. Suzuki 40; 6. BMW 27; 7. Kawasaki 2.

FIM Supersport World Championship

The second round in Qatar saw the crowning of a new talent in World Supersport. Thanks to a perfect slipstreaming dash to the line, Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) scored his first win in the category. The Irish rider held off the attacks from reigning champion Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) to take the win. Former points leader Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) only finished fourth after making a mistake at the final curve, which opened the door for Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) to gain his first WSS podium. Seven Hondas placed in the first ten positions, including the Veidec Racing and Hannspree Althea machines of Robbin Harms and Matthieu Lagrive in fifth and sixth. Garry McCoy took the ParkinGO Triumph 675 to an encouraging seventh place, while Joan Lascorz could only manage thirteenth with the Kawasaki. Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Czech Honda), Phillip Island podium finisher Anthony West (Stiggy Racing) and Barry Veneman (Hoegee Suzuki) made up the top 10.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #23
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Laverty dedicates maiden victory to Craig Jones

IRELAND’S Eugene Laverty celebrated his and the Parkalgar Honda team’s first World Supersport race victory at the second round of the Championship in Qatar – and revealed that he was confused by his pit board signals and didn’t realise he had won until World Champion Andrew Pitt told him during the cool-down lap.

Eugene led for 13 of the 18-laps and enjoyed a race-long battle with two World Champions - Andrew Pitt and Kenan Sofuoglu - finally winning the most dramatic of races in a last dash to the line. Parkalgar Honda Portuguese ace Miguel Praia took 12th. The third round of the Championship takes place at Valencia in Spain on Sunday 5th April.

Eugene: “I was a little confused by my pit board and mid-race I thought it said seventh. I dropped back from the lead and it said fourth so I got back on the pace. When I led again I read seventh and I just decided to get my head down and do my best to win on the track and see what happened later; so it wasn’t until the second turn on the cool-down lap when Andrew Pitt congratulated me on the victory that I realised I had won. We had discussed my pit-board signals before the race and it was my mistake and it’ll not happen again. It was a strange race because it was a lot easier to drive and follow than lead; but my Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR is brilliant and I was able to get good drive and pass Andrew early on the straight on the last lap to win. It is unbelievable that for the last couple of years I have been fighting for points and now I am winning a race on my second attempt with Parkalgar Honda and challenging for a World title. All I can say is thank you to the whole Parkalgar Honda team, Simon, Brains, everyone – not to mention the Parkalgar circuit, Ohlins, Motec and all the team partners. I dedicate this win to Craig Jones who did all the work bringing the team to this level.”

Miguel: “It was important for me that I finish the race after having two crashes in qualifying in just 10 minutes. That meant I didn’t have a good chance at qualifying and starting from 14th was always going to be difficult in the race. I settled down into the race focussed on finishing but found I had good pace. I think I could have competed with the group in front fighting for seventh if I had got away a little quicker but overall I am happy with a good 12th place. This has rebuilt my confidence for the next round at Valencia and I will see what I can do there.”

Simon Buckmaster, Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: “I can’t say enough good things about Eugene. At one point in the race he was looking over his shoulder and I wondered what he was doing – it turns out he was comfortable on the bike. He kept his cool under the most enormous pressure and won, it was a fantastic ride. What a job the boys in the team did to put the Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR under him, well done to Brains and the whole squad, I am proud of them all. It was a great team effort and I cannot thank our sponsors enough, in particular Paulo Pinheiro at the Parkalgar circuit because without him none of this would be possible. I am also pleased for Miguel finishing 12th, equalling his best result of last year at only the second race in 2009. His confidence is back and he beat a lot of good riders and race winners today. I think he can take heart from that and go to Valencia realistically targeting the top 10 or maybe even a little better.”
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #24
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Spies cleans up with sensational double win in Qatar

Yamaha rider Ben Spies lived up to the hype again in Qatar today, riding an incredible two races to take his second and third consecutive victories in the Losail heat. Dropping to fifth from the start of the first race, the three-time AMA champion moved up to third position on lap four to tuck in behind race leader Max Biaggi and second placed rider Noriyuki Haga for most of the race. The super calm Texan waited for his moment six laps from the end to make his move. As Haga moved out to look up the inside of Biaggi, Spies took the opportunity and passed him on the inside, before taking Biaggi on the next corner as the Italian race leader ran wide. From the moment he took the lead Spies win was never in doubt as he cleanly pulled away from the battle for second. Spies’ team-mate Tom Sykes had a frustrating start, dropping several places up to ninth position before fighting his way back through to finish seventh.

Race two saw Spies dominate again, after initially dropping a couple of places from the start line, he moved up behind Haga and Biaggi again before moving out to take the lead on lap seven. The American superstar then put in a sensational performance of perfect laps, increasing the comfort zone until taking the chequered flag in style, comfortably ahead of second place Haga. Spies leaves Qatar in second place in the standings, ten points behind Haga in the championship. Spies also takes the new lap record for the Qatar circuit away with him this weekend.

Tom Sykes got a better start to race two and fought with Yukio Kiyonari and Troy Corser in the opening laps for fifth position. Fighting behind the leading pack Sykes held his own with an impressive race pace, putting in consistent laps to finish the race in fifth position.

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“It was an extremely tough first race, I got an ok start and got to the back of Nori and Max after a few laps. All three of us were strong in different parts of the track so it was really interesting. It was very hard to pass them both, It was when Nori was looking up the inside of Max, that I had my chance to get inside of him, and then Max ran a bit wide so I got through. Once I got it done I got my head down and kept it clean, it was good enough to win.

In the second race Nori set a really good pace first for a few laps so I just tried to keep the same rhythm. Eventually I managed to get past and just kept my head down and tried to open up a gap. It was a hard race, but a better race for me than first one as I could concentrate on riding my lines. Hopefully when we go to Valencia we’ll be up there fighting at the front again! A good weekend for the team, they’re not always like that but we’ll take them when they come.”

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I was very disappointed with race one, I didn’t get the best of starts but it was turns one and two that really let me down so I played a lot of catch up and needed to make it happen. In race two we changed a couple of things on the bike and got a decent start. I tried not to get into trouble in the first two corners and got a couple of people in front of me who I didn’t want there so put my head down and eventually took them. We got a nice gap behind us and so I was looking ahead and trying to work onto a podium position. At one stage I thought we were there but struggled in a couple of places and had to override the tire so lost a bit of pace. The team has been great, we’re taking it step by step so hopefully we’ll be on the podium in Valencia!“

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“The weekend went really well for us, both races were fantastic for Ben and Tom also did a very good job. We are improving and getting closer to the championship lead. Thanks to everyone as what we’ve done is the result of a really great team; here, the riders, Japan, everyone is working very well together so a big thank you for everybody.”
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:59 PM   #25
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Alright gotta eat some steak. BRB!
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:17 PM   #26
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>> Kiyonari just misses Qatar podium

Ryuichi Kiyonari of the Ten Kate Honda Racing team missed a podium finish by 0.2s in the second of today’s two second round 2009 World Superbike championship races at Losail in Qatar. Both 18-lappers were won by American Ben Spies, with Noriyuki Haga claiming two second places and Max Biaggi two thirds.

Kiyonari’s fourth followed an eighth place finish in race one as his Honda team-mates, Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea, both claimed a handful of points to put a frustrating weekend behind them.

In race one, Checa took fifth after starting from seventh on the grid, but could do no better than 13th in the second outing after suffering chatter problems in both races.

Jonathan Rea, meanwhile, having been near the top of the timing sheets during practice and regular qualifying, struggled with his grid position of 17th following yesterday’s difficult Superpole event. The 22-year-old battled throughout both of today’s encounters, taking 12th in race one and eighth in race two.

Ryuichi Kiyonari – race one 8th, race two 4th
In race one I had a very bad start and had to push hard at the beginning. After that it was difficult to keep the lap times. We changed the tyre for race two and things felt much better, but, again, I had to push very hard and was maybe a bit too aggressive with the throttle at the beginning, trying to catch the leading group. When I reached Biaggi, I didn’t have enough left to get past him. I hoped he might make a mistake to let me on to the podium, which would have been the best reward for my team who have worked so hard. But it didn’t happen, so I had to accept fourth place.

Carlos Checa – race one 5th, race two 13th
I had quite bad chatter again in race one. We thought we had eliminated this problem after Phillip Island, but it was back and gave me quite bad arm pump. Unfortunately, it was even worse in race two and I also had a bad start which meant I had to try to pass many other riders. With the problems we had, I didn’t really have the confidence to push as hard as I wanted. We’ll work on everything before we get to Valencia and hope for better things there.

Jonathan Rea – race one 12th, race two 8th
Today has been one of mixed emotions – in fact, it’s been quite a weird weekend. We were right up there on Friday and Saturday morning, but went the wrong way and Superpole was not good. So, we went back to Friday’s settings for the races today and I got a pretty good start in the first one, but got bad arm pump. The guys in the Clinica Mobile sorted it out for race two and everything felt much better; but from 17th on the grid, I couldn’t quite catch the leading group so I had quite a lonely race. I had one or two moments with the front, but I’m happy with the way I rode and I’m looking forward to Valencia now.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
Obviously we have not had the results that we were looking for or that the hard work of the team deserved. Jonathan rode well in the second race and showed that he’s starting to find better race-craft, being new to the class. The highlight of the day was Kiyo’s ride in race two. A podium finish would have been a nice reward for everyone but it wasn’t to be. We will work hard between now and Valencia to get better results there.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #27
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>> Pitt second in Qatari thriller

Andrew Pitt finished second in today’s second round 2009 World Supersport championship encounter in Qatar. The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider was edged off the top step of the podium by Honda-mounted Eugene Laverty. Cal Crutchlow completed the podium, with Pitt’s team-mate, Kenan Sofuoglu – winner of the opening race in Australia two weeks ago – finishing in fourth place.

In a classic Supersport slipstreaming battle around the 5.38km Losail circuit just outside Doha, Pitt and Sofuoglu traded places with Laverty and Crutchlow, with each of three Honda riders taking spells leading the race.

On the last lap, Pitt appeared to have timed his final move to the front perfectly, but Laverty, riding the 2009 Honda CBR600RR, was able to out-drag the Australian to the flag, while a mistake at the final corner prevented Sofuoglu from joining Pitt on the podium.

Andrew Pitt – P2
I gave everything I had during the race and, although I didn’t win, at least we’ve bagged another 20 points. We struggled early in the weekend but the team has worked really hard again to put a good bike underneath me. Congratulations to Eugene and the Parkalgar Honda team – they were knocking on the door last season and deserve to be there. Bring on Valencia, when we’ll have the 2009 CBR to play with and the straight is a little shorter!

Kenan Sofuoglu – P4
I’m not so happy, really. After my two crashes yesterday I was a little bit nervous and then I was losing some speed on the straight to everyone else. I had to try and make up for that by braking late into the corners and that made me a little tired and I began to feel the knocks I received yesterday. Then I made a mistake going into the final corner, when I was third, and this allowed Crutchlow through. Still, I have some more points and it’s not such a bad result considering the tough weekend we’ve had.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
It’s not been the easiest weekend, so I was pleased to see both riders fighting for the win right through the race. Although we would love to have won, the victory went to the 2009 CBR600RR and to another well-respected Honda team, so congratulations to them. At the end of the day, we’re still 1-2 in the championship and we’re looking forward to getting back to Europe where our own 09 bikes are waiting and we cannot wait for Valencia.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:18 PM   #28
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Hoege Suzuki Racing Team

Qualifying day had brought quite some homework for Hoegee Suzuki Team. Following an analysis of the data of the last qualifying, some changes have been made allowing Barry Veneman again to compete. The warm-up results have shown this, with a nice 8th position for Barry. Subsequently the battle plan for the race was made. With a excellent and daring start, Barry managed to gain a lot of positions bringing him at P10 after one round to be followed even by several round at P8, short behind the leading group.

Barry Veneman: "When you start from P18 you have to choose for maximum attack if you want to compete. I have focussed on that and went in full, overtaking many in front of me using the inner side of the first corner. After 1 lap however there was a small gap with the leaders. Given my starting position it was not possible to join this group an ymore. Most part of the race, riding a good rhythm, both West and myself have battled for P8/9. Unfortunately this rhythm was disturbed when two more joined this battle. As of that moment I might have been a little to eager. When looking back at the weekend, I'm quite happy with this result. Much more than this top-10 was never an option following the qualification. Today, especially in the race we managed to improve quite a bit versus the competition and I'll take that with me in my back pocket."

Shaun Geronimi, finishing 23rd today, would liked to have seen himself adapt quicker to the bike and tyres. "We adapted the bike as much as possible to my posture and style. We made good progress and again learned a lot this weekend. I had/have to change my style as well and had hoped to accomplish this sooner to be able to show acceptable results alread y this weekend. I know where to improve and will work on that". <

Marc Hoegee is also happy with today's result. "Until today we haven't been very lucky this weekend. We managed to derive some modifications from the data of yesterday's qualifying session. That worked out. The dream start by Barry brought him in a position to compete for a top-10 result. and he managed to do bring that home. Excellent! even more when you realize that we were not able to fully benefit from the developments last winter. We gathered a lot of information this weekend, do have 3 weeks to Valencia and go to work to prepare the bikes for that race."
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:19 PM   #29
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THREE TOP TENS FOR BMW MOTORRAD MOTORSPORT!

BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus rode superbly in both the two 18-lap races in Doha today and earned themselves three top ten placings! Troy finished ninth in both races and Ruben took 13th in race one and followed that with a hard-fought for tenth in race two. Today’s tremendous results were all the more spectacular considering that Ruben and Troy had started the races from the fourth row of the grid after a problems in Superpole yesterday.

But almost more special than the top ten finishes was the sight of Troy in fourth place after two laps of race two! The Aussie had blasted off the line superbly from 16th on the grid and stunned everybody by crossing the line in fifth place at the end of lap one. By lap two he had stormed into fourth - a position he held until lap four. Although he ended the race in ninth, his spell in fourth place made up for all the disappointment the past two days and gives Troy, Ruben and the whole team a tremendous boost before the next race in three week’s time.

Troy - Race 1: 9th, Race 2: 9th
After practice and qualifying, we were a bit disappointed about our prospects of any good results from the fourth row of the grid. Overnight we found a solution to our top speed problem and that gave me a slim chance today. In race two, I made one of the best starts of my life, saw a gap and just went for it! It felt great to be up front with the race leaders and although I knew it wouldn’t last, it was great while it happened. At the moment, we are about half a second down on bike and chassis set-up and if we could cut that gap we’d be competitive for sure. It certainly doesn’t help starting from row four and, at Qatar, that probably means you lose seven or so seconds on the first lap and you have to spend the rest of the race playing catch up. To get two top tens today is certainly more than I was expecting before the season started and shows that the bike has real potential. After three weeks or so away, we’ll now be able to return to our workshops, analyse all the info and get the work started for the next round.

Ruben - Race 1: 13th, Race 2: 10th
I’m really happy with the races today and although there’s lots of work to do, I think Troy and I did a great job. I’m very happy with race two, because I ended nearly nine seconds closer to the front then in race one. On my sighting lap for race two, I thought it might be better to go longer on the rear sprocket. I knew that it would be a problem on the start, but it was a risk I wanted to take. And it wasn’t a good start, but I soon got into a good rhythm. My biggest surprise was seeing that Troy was fourth! I was jealous because I wanted to be there! I just kept pushing hard and I managed to catch Troy towards the end of the race. I thought about trying to pass him, but thought ‘Ruben don’t do anything stupid’, so I stayed behind. Then Haslam overtook me two laps from the end and pushed me out of the top ten, but I said ‘No, no, no!’ and made sure I got past him before the finish so that Troy and I could both be in the top ten.

Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
The most important thing this weekend is that we have learnt a lot, but I must also say that the results today make me more than happy. Troy did an amazing job in both races and the great work between the two riders helped us get both in the top ten in race two. Considering that our team is still learning, I think this is a great achievement this early in the championship and I’d like to thank them and riders for all the hard work here and at Phillip Island. Friday was ‘Black Friday’ for us, but today our results mean we can all leave Qatar happy.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:19 PM   #30
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NORIYUKI HAGA (DUCATI XEROX) AND HIS 1198 BACK ON THE PODIUM TWICE TODAY IN QATAR

Losail (Qatar), Saturday 14th March: in the second round of the 2009 World Superbike Championship, taking place today at the International Circuit of Losail in Qatar, Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) returned to the podium after powering his 1198 to a second place finish in both of this afternoon’s races.

In Race 1 Noriyuki made a great start and was up in second place behind Aprilia’s Max Biaggi for the first twelve laps before both riders were passed by American Ben Spies on the Yamaha who held the lead to take the win. Noriyuki and Max spent the last few laps battling for second and it was the Ducati Xerox rider who kept the pace to ride his 1198 to a second place finish, taking important championship points in the process. Unfortunately Michel Fabrizio had less success and after making up several places, from fourteenth to seventh, in the first seven laps, a technical problem meant that he had to deactivate the bike’s anti-spin, without which he suffered a fall.

In Race 2 it was once again Noriyuki, Max and Ben who fought for the lead, with Ben ultimately winning and proving that he had the stronger package on track today. Noriyuki was determined to repeat his first race performance and finished once again ahead of Biaggi, replicating the podium of Race 1. Michel did not make the best start and was down in seventeenth place in the first lap. He tried to catch up as he did in the first race but the lack of rear grip forced him to stop in the garage where the rear tyre was changed. Michel exited once again and registered his fastest lap of the race but concluded his race early due to the two lap gap that had built up during his pit-stop.

Noriyuki Haga (Race 1 – 2nd; Race 2 – 2nd)
“I am very happy with today’s results because we maintain the championship lead. Race 1 was a hard race for me, and I had to really fight hard with Ben (Spies) and Max (Biaggi). In the first laps I was holding the pace with Max no problem but then I started to have rear tyre problems and it became harder to keep up. Ben passed us both and there was no way either of use could catch him; I enjoyed racing with Max but the closing laps were hard. Race 2 was almost the same, another race against Max. I held the lead for the first five laps with Max behind but then, as before, Ben took control and got away from us both. Anyway, good results and good points for us and thanks to my team for putting together a great bike after some initial difficulties on Thursday.”

Michel Fabrizio (Race 1 – DNF; Race 2 - DNF)
“Today is a day to forget; we must move on. In Race 1 I had a technical problem with the anti-spin so I deactivated it but riding without that electronic support was hard and caused me to fall. In the second race I decided to come into the box after eight laps to change the rear tyre that had caused me problems from the first lap. The tyre was changed and I went back out but the gap that had opened up prevented me from fighting for points and so I concluded my race early.”
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:20 PM   #31
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Team Suzuki Press Office - March 14.

The Qatar round of the 2009 Superbike World Championship will not be happily remembered by Max Neukirchner, Yukio Kagayama and the Suzuki Alstare Brux team, but they have already brushed aside all negative thoughts and are focussing on the next round in Valencia in three weeks.

Neukirchner crashed heavily in this morning's warm-up, fortunately without injury, ran off the track twice in race one and then crashed out after five laps. But he recovered to take a tremendous sixth place in race two.

Kagayama was hit by another rider on lap two of race one and was forced into the huge gravel trap at the first turn. By the time he was able to rejoin the track, he had lost 30 seconds and was dead last. From then on, it was a lonely race for the Japanese rider but he kept going and finished 22nd at the flag. In race two, he had problems with the electronics and could not brake hard and steer the bike the way he wanted when fighting with a group of riders. But, just like race one, he kept going, battled hard and managed to bring home 15th place.

American Ben Spies (Yamaha) won the two 18-lap races today with Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) taking second and third respectively in both.

Max Neukirchner - Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 6th:

"I think my result in race two was good. I know that I could not have got any higher and, after all my crashes this weekend, it was good to leave Qatar with a good finish. It has been a tough weekend for us. We made some mistakes and my crashes gave the team a lot of extra work to do. I want to say a big thank you to my team for doing all the work so quickly, but also to Yukio's mechanics who also helped us a lot.

"My day didn't start well because Troy Corser and I collided in the morning warm-up: It was on the brakes into turn one and I was lucky to escape without injury. In race one, I ran off the track twice because I missed my braking points and then crashed - probably because I was trying too hard. At least race two went well and I was happy to finish sixth after starting from 19th on the grid. We'll have to do better in practice, qualifying and Superpole in the future so that we don't have to start so low down the grid. I'm going to forget about this weekend and look forward to better things in the next round in Valencia."

Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 22nd, Race 2: 15th:

"This was not such a good weekend for me and I know we have to improve for sure. In race one I was hit by another rider and forced off the track. I think I lost about 30 seconds and by the time I got back on the track, everybody had gone! The rest of the race was very lonely for me, but I wanted to complete the race so that I could give information and data to my team. All weekend I have not been so happy with my bike in the turns. I am not sure if the problem is electronics-related or what, but the bike is not braking as I want and it is not accelerating out of the turns like I want. It is probably to do with some adjustments so we must find out what is happening and then make the adjustments to improve the bike. I am disappointed with this weekend because I am a racer and I want to do well. I have had some good results in Qatar in the past, but this weekend is probably one I should forget."
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:06 AM   #32
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Couldn't believe the commentator in race 2.... he said I bet Bayliss is glad he retired and doesn't have to race against Ben... That would have been good to see.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:10 AM   #33
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w00t go Ben!!!
it also looks a lot more promising for BMW than i had originally thought...after all the r&d they put into their new machine i can't wait for them to perfect it...it looks sick as too!!!

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Old 03-16-2009, 06:52 AM   #34
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man spies is the real deal.

funny how alot of people put down AMA and yet here's spies top of WSB already,

GO spies, i luv how the announcers say so-n-so from spain, france and so on, and then w/ SPies he's a TEXAN!!!
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:02 AM   #35
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where is Alrova with his ducati B/S??? he's scared, thinking about retiring the ducatis and picking up a yammi!!!!
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:24 AM   #36
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Spies if frickin' FAST. Nice to see Aprilia on he podium too!
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:17 AM   #37
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While I think Spies was born with a natural talent to ride motorcycles(fast), you have to wonder if racing in CMRA in the previous years has helped him become the unreal rider he is today? Would he be this fast, and have won 3 of the first 4 races in the WSBK series of his rookie year if he would of raced with WERA, or CCS in another region?
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:25 AM   #38
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nicky also raced CMRA ?

kevin schwantz
colin edwards
ben spies

top tier riders from CMRA
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:32 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
Ben is a class act rookie.
No whoolies and nothing but kind words about the competition.
He will definetly be respected by the veterans for this.
could not agree more
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:39 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by po-po 5.0 View Post
Spies if frickin' FAST. Nice to see Aprilia on he podium too!
+1
a 3rd and 4th place for the new Aprilia is good going
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