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.
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.read more
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.read more