Watch as Ben Spies leading Race 2 hits the astro-turf on the side of the track and highsides his Yamaha R1.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) continued their two-way domination of the 2009 Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands by taking a win apiece in front of 76,000 spectators.
The Texan pulled out a fantastic pass on his Japanese rival to take a last-gasp win in the first race, but then crashed out of race 2 early on, leaving Haga the winner. Leon Haslam rode superbly to take home two podiums for the Stiggy Racing Honda team, while Jakub Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) scored his best-ever result with third in race 2. In the championship Haga now has a 60-point lead over Spies, 180 to 120.
Spies took his fourth win of the season by forcing his way past points leader Haga in a thrilling final lap. The decisive move came a couple of turns from the flag, and the Texan then closed the door on his rival to win. Third place went to Haslam, who had the satisfaction of recording a new lap record. Yamaha’s good all-round performance was completed with fourth place for Tom Sykes, the British rider finishing ahead of Max Biaggi (Aprilia), well up again after struggling in qualifying. Sixth place went to Smrz, while Michel Fabrizio could only manage eighth with the second factory Ducati. Troy Corser put in a good performance on the BMW, while Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare) could only finish 13th after crashing out from second place and then rejoining. Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) also crashed out while trying to catch up after a poor start.
Ben Spies: “I was trying to set a really good pace in the first few laps, but just didn’t have the same feeling I had in practice with the bike, and Nori came by and I saw nobody was behind Haslam, so I just sat back and watched. When the tyres started going off we made some moves, there were some close moments with Leon but we kept it clean. I knew I had to go and I fought it out with Nori over the last two laps. Actually I didn’t know where to pass Nori, but I got a good run and it was close.”
Noriyuki Haga: “I am a little bit disappointed but we did a very good race. I got a good start but just at the beginning of the race Ben was quite faster and I tried to catch up with him. It was difficult because I had a little problem with the bike. I caught up again and passed him and tried to push but couldn’t. So at this point I just lost a few points for the championship.”
Leon Haslam: “I felt really good to be fair, the race pace was good and I was just sitting behind Nori. I was losing a lot of time out of the hairpin and onto the start-finish straight and was trying to match Nori through there and the next minute me and Spies had a good elbow session but it was a fantastic race and again a big thanks to the team to give me a package to do that.”
Results: 1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 36’31.338 (164,628 kph); 2. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 0.154; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 0.779; 4. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 8.775; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.275; 6. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 16.126; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 19.555; 8. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 19.760; 9. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 23.006; 10. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 24.285; 11. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 26.003; 12. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 27.814; 13. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 36.962; 14. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 39.025; 15. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 41.505; 16. Roberts B. (AUS) Ducati 1098R 41.810
The outcome was decided on lap 2 when Spies slid off into the gravel while in the lead. This left Haga with an unchallenged run to the flag as he leveled the score with Spies with his fourth win of the year, together with a new fastest lap. Haslam improved on his result in the first encounter with a second place in race 2, the British rider now proving to be a true podium contender. Smrz scored his first-ever career podium in third, the Czech rider getting the better of Fabrizio in the final stages. The Italian had a broken gearbox in the end but managed to bring his 1098 home fourth. In the all-British battle for fifth, Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) got the edge over Sykes. Suzuki’s disappointing weekend was completed with a ninth place for Neukirchner and 12th for Yukio Kagayama. Corser scored another tenth place for BMW, just ahead of team-mate Ruben Xaus. Biaggi’s race came to an end at the start with a clutch problem, while Shinya Nakano failed to take the start after his crash in race 1 in which he damaged his previously operated-on shoulder.
Noriyuki Haga: “First of all, I’m sorry for Ben and his crash, I hope he is fine. After the first race we changed the suspension a little bit and the bike was really comfortable, so a big thanks to everyone in the team. I think it’s nine years since I won here, in 2000, so I’m very happy and now I’m looking forward to Monza.”
Leon Haslam: “I was a little bit ambitious into the first turn but I thought the pace was OK. I rose through to pass Fabrizio, but it took me a lot of the race and when I finally did get past, there wasn’t much left and maybe with the cooler conditions the grip wasn’t quite so high. I made a few little mistakes but managed to get enough of a break to run into second.”
Jakub Smrz: “I was just staying behind Michel and he had a problem or something, it was really close but I could just pass him at the finish. I’m really happy because everybody said before that I can be fast only in qualifying, so now I showed everyone that I can be fast in the race as well and it’s a great result for me and the team.”
Results: 1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 36’31.712 (164,6 kph); 2. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 2.678; 3. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 4.603; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 8.981; 5. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 12.104; 6. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 14.575; 7. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 17.449; 8. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 17.729; 9. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 18.167; 10. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 25.056; 11. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 32.617; 12. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 32.688; 13. Roberts B. (AUS) Ducati 1098R 37.415; 14. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 55.088; 15. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 55.325; 16. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’18.514
Points (after 4 of 14 rounds): 1. Haga 180; 2. Spies 120; 3. Haslam 94; 4. Fabrizio 80; 5. Neukirchner 75; 6. Sykes 70; 7. Biaggi 65; 8. Laconi 64; 9. Rea 53; 10. Smrz 44. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 180; 2. Yamaha 145; 3. Honda 109; 4. Suzuki 76; 5. Aprilia 68; 6 BMW 43; 7. Kawasaki 10.
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) powered to the provisional pole at the end of the first day of action at Assen. The Texan, a total newcomer to the Dutch track, set an impressive time of 1 minute 38.747 seconds, four-tenths of a second away from last year’s record time of Bayliss in qualifying, but which was obtained on qualifying tyres. Spies was the only rider to dip under the 1’39 mark, but the session was a hard-fought affair as behind the Yamaha there were 15 riders in the space of 1 second.
Second time of the day went to Jakub Smrz (Ducati Guandalini), a fraction ahead of the four-cylinder machines of Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare) and Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). Fifth place went to Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), the first Italian in the standings, while a convincing Regis Laconi (Ducati DFX) and the other Suzuki Alstare machine of Max Neukirchner, together with Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) make up the provisional front row.
Troy Corser put in another positive performance on his BMW S1000 RR to take the eleventh quickest slot, one position in front of the championship leader Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who lapped in a good race pace. Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike) crashed out towards the end of the session, while Assen proved to be an unfortunate circuit once again for John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda), who crashed heavily in the morning’s free practice session. The American dislocated his left hip in the crash and will miss the race. Tomorrow a decision will be taken on any eventual further measures and how long he needs for recovery.
1. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’38.747; 2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1’39.055; 3. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’39.128; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.141; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.238; 6. Laconi R. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1’39.246; 7. Neukirchner M. (GER) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’39.265; 8. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.359; 9. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.506; 10. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1’39.585; 11. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’39.597; 12. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 1’39.621; 13. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 1’39.784; 14. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’39.897; 15. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’39.899; 16. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1’39.934
Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com) was quickest off the mark in Supersport today. Following the disappointment of Valencia, the Spanish rider gave further confirmation of his prowess and progress in the Netherlands as he powered to a time of 1 minute 41.650 seconds in free practice. The only other rider close to Lascorz was Valencia winner Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport), two-tenths off the pole pace. The front row was completed by rapidly-improving Italian Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini) and Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda). Row 2 went to Australian Garry McCoy with the first Be1 Racing Triumph, with Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda), Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Dutch rider Barry Veneman (Hoegee Suzuki) alongside. 2008 champion and Assen race winner Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) could only manage the ninth quickest time.
1. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’41.650; 2. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 1’41.869; 3. Pirro M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’42.081; 4. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.164; 5. McCoy G. (AUS) Triumph Daytona 675 1’42.168; 6. West A. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.427; 7. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’42.428; 8. Veneman B. (NED) Suzuki GSX-R600 1’42.490
The opening Superstock 1000 session was dominated by Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda). On his team’s home track, the Frenchman was immediately on the pace, setting a 1 minute 42.775 seconds at the start of the session, a time that never came under threat from his adversaries. Second-placed Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare) was exactly one second behind, with Dutchman Raymond Schouten (VD Heyden Motors Yamaha) 1.2″ away. The overnight front row was completed by Italian Davide Giugliano with an MV Agusta. Last year’s European Superstock 600 champion Loris Baz (MRS Racing Yamaha) looks to be getting into his stride with seventh quickest time, while Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) couldn’t go any higher than ninth place.
1. Berger M. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’42.765; 2. Corti C. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’43.753; 3. Schouten R. (NED) Yamaha YZF R1 1’43.978; 4. Giugliano D. (ITA) MV Agusta F4 312 R 1’44.051; 5. Barrier S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’44.089; 6. Fores J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’44.287; 7. Baz L. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R1 1’44.310; 8. Napoleone L. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1’44.437
Belgium’s Vincent Lonbois (MTM Racing Yamaha) set the fastest time of the day in 1 minute 45.039 seconds in the Superstock 600 free practice session. Yamaha totally dominated the day’s proceedings with eight YZF-R6 machines in the top 10 positions. Second place went to Valencia winner Danilo Petrucci, with Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Racing Yamaha) and Britain’s Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) right behind. Dutch rider Joey Litjens (VD Heyden Motors Yamaha) gave the home crowd something to shout about with fifth quickest time ahead of Italy’s Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno).
1. Lonbois V. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 1’45.039; 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’45.271; 3. Guarnoni J. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’45.324; 4. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’45.665; 5. Litjens J. (NED) Yamaha YZF R6 1’45.878; 6. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.319; 7. Van Leuven K. (NED) Yamaha YZF R6 1’46.933; 8. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’47.276
Eurosport (Pan European): Sunday 26 April, Superpole – 0900-0930 CET (delayed), SBK race 1 – 1245-1315 (delayed), Supersport – 1315-1400 (live), SBK race 2 – 1830-1915. Eurosport 2 (UK): Saturday 25 April, Superpole – 2200-2300 (delayed), Sunday 26 April, Supersport – 1430-1530 (live), SBK race 1 + 2 – 1700-1830 (delayed).
Only four a laps into the opening practice session in Assen today, Stiggy Racing Honda rider John Hopkins high-sided off his bike and sustained serious injuries. The session was red-flagged while John Hopkins was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a dislocated left hip. He will return to the USA to undergo further treatment. A blow in the face for the Stiggy Racing Team and their new arrival, who made his second appearance for the team in Assen this weekend.
Leon Haslam set out to continue his good form in Assen this morning and showed good pace throughout both sessions. He set the fourth fastest time in the opening session, but initially struggled through the Qualifying Practice after changing directions in the development of his bike. Back on track, with only a few minutes left on the clock, Haslam set out for a fast lap and finished the day in tenth position with a best time of 1’39.585s.
The entire top ten qualified within 0.8s off the time set by fastest man Ben Spies who dominated the first day of Superbike qualifying.
Leon Haslam, 1’39.585s:
“Everything went according to plan in this morning’s session. It was good to get back to Assen, which is one of my favourite tracks. I had never ridden the new layout of the track before and had to learn the first sections that have changed, but was happy with my fourth place in the Free Practice.
This afternoon we tried various different things which didn’t all lead to the result we had planned. I managed to get out again with only ten minutes to go and was able to pick up the pace again. I ended up at P10 and improved my best time with 0.6s. We know what we will have to focus on now, and I’m confident I can further improvements in tomorrow’s sessions.”
” It looks like I am continuing my bad luck here in Assen two years in a row. I didn’t even get five laps under my belt this time. I had a huge high-side and landed feet first, which dislocated my hip and cracked the top of my femur. For about three hours, until they placed me in the operating room and put my hip back into place, I was in the most excruciating pain I have ever been in my life.
I was really motivated to race here this weekend and initially I felt really good from the moment I jumped on the bike, but this is just bad luck. Now I will just have to recuperate. I will fly home tomorrow night and will have surgery monday morning if necessary. The biggest problem will be the muscles. All the ligaments and muscles around the femur are torn, which is a lot worse then actual broken bones. If there was no muscle damage, I would be back racing in two weeks, now we will have to wait for the proper evaluation.”
Johan Stigefelt, Team manager:
“What a start of the weekend! I Really regret what happened to John this morning. We were looking forward to seeing him race this weekend, but unfortunately, this is racing and we are unable to predict these situations. John hurt himself badly, and will need further examination in the US. Hopefully he will recover soon and be able to ride for us again.
I am pleased with Leon’s performance this morning. We were heading in a good direction this morning, but changed too much in the afternoon as we had several things we wanted to test. For tomorrow’s session, we know which direction we will have to take now. We are not too far away from the race set-up yet. Leon is capable of running a good pace even after his tyres have worn out. I expect him to work his way to the front of the field tomorrow.”
Source | Stiggy Racing Honda