Aprilia has confirmed it will run three bikes at the final round of the World Superbike Championship in Portimao following the return of Shinya Nakano to the team.
Former MotoGP rider Nakano has endured an injury interrupted first season in World Superbikes and was forced to miss the Imola and Magny-Cours rounds due to an unspecified neck problem.
Nonetheless, while Aprilia earlier revealed Leon Camier will ride the RSV-4 alongside Max Biaggi in France and in Portugal, Nakano’s return will see the Italian team expand to three bikes for the first time. read more
Title contenders Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) scored a win apiece in the penultimate round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Superbike in front of a record 81,000 spectators at Magny-Cours but it is the Japanese rider who now has the advantage in the points table. The Texan dominated race 1 but Nitro-Nori responded in the second encounter with a lights-to-flag victory, as Spies was unable to go any higher than fourth. Ten points now separate the two as the series heads for its final round in Portugal in three weeks time. Max Biaggi scored two more podium finishes for Aprilia Racing, a third and a second, Jonathan Rea grabbed a third for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, while Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had an off day. read more
Just a few days after securing the domestic Superbike title, Leon Camier has announced he will compete in the penultimate Round of the World Superbike Championship aboard the Aprilia RSV4 this weekend.
As a part of the Airwaves Yamaha British Superbike team, Leon has dominated the 2009 Championship and broken numerous records, scoring 9 pole positions and 17 wins to date. He will be temporarily released from his contract with GSE Racing in order to take-up this incredible opportunity. Leon will then return to conclude the British Superbike season at Oulton Park in October. read more
The long-awaited return to Imola for the FIM Superbike World Championship produced a magnificent day of racing in glorious weather conditions in front of 67,000 spectators. The wins went to the Ducati Xerox duo of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, with the Japanese rider bouncing back to the top of the table. The other protagonists in an all-Italian battle for the leading positions were Aprilia, with Max Biaggi and Marco Simoncelli taking a podium apiece. It was a disappointing day for the former points leader Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), who managed to limit the damage in the title race. Haga now has a three-point lead, with two rounds remaining and 100 points up for grabs. read more
Haga won a nail-biting first race of the day, which kept the fans glued to their seats right down to the chequered flag, the Japanese rider taking his first win since Kyalami in mid-May. Four laps from the flag Haga passed Biaggi, who had led since the start, to take the win. Thanks to this result Haga made up twelve points on championship leader Spies, the American only able to finish fourth. There was a terrific scrap for the runner-up slot, which went to Biaggi after the Aprilia rider made a superb move on Fabrizio to pass him at the final chicane. Simoncelli’s WSB debut was an unfortunate one, the Italian crashing out from fifth. That place in the end went to Ryuichi Kiyonari (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who finished ahead of fellow Honda riders Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate), the latter throwing away any chance of a decent result when he went onto the gravel at the Rivazza while trying an overtaking move. Broc Parkes was the first Kawasaki runner home in tenth, ahead of Troy Corser (BMW).
Noriyuki Haga: “This is my first win since Kyalami and I am very happy, I really enjoyed that race. This morning we had a little problem and I thought it would be difficult to make good lap times for 21 laps, so for the race we made a modification for the suspension and things were better. I am really happy for the win because my dad came over for this race and I got the win, so I dedicate it to him!”
Max Biaggi: “I am very happy with the result in the last race in Italy before next year. In the tests we suffered a bit more than the others but me and my team worked hard and late afternoon yesterday we improved our set-up. This morning was OK, we made some modifications, still there is room to improve but for sure it was a great result. In the final chicane with Fabrizio, I thought ‘you never know’, I saw him there a little bit on the side and I stick in my bike, stayed in there. I could pass him and this is a good result.”
Michel Fabrizio: “From the sixth lap onwards I had a problem with my arm and I couldn’t pull the clutch very well, so I got used to changing gear without the clutch, but unfortunately the engine braking wasn’t quite right for that. As the laps went on I couldn’t feel my hand anymore and in the last five laps I was holding on with two fingers, I could hardly keep my hand on the bars.”
Results: 1. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 38’32.199 (161,388 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.074; 3. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2.190; 4. Spies B. (USA) Yamaha YZF R1 5.438; 5. Kiyonari R. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 14.470; 6. Haslam L. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 14.685; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 26.822; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 32.694; 9. Sykes T. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 33.817; 10. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 34.801; 11. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 35.286; 12. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 36.442; 13. Muggeridge K. (AUS) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 38.698; 14. Baiocco M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 42.147; 15. Kagayama Y. (JPN) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 46.510; 16. Scassa L. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 46.628
Noriyuki Haga regained the lead of the FIM Superbike World Championship as the Ducati team enjoyed a dream home round of the series at Imola..
Japanese rider Haga and team-mate Michel Fabrizio took a win apiece as Yamaha rider Ben Spies, Haga’s principal title rival, endured a frustrating day at the Bologna track.
Haga now holds a three-point lead at the top of the standings with just two rounds of the season remaining.
The 34-year-old had come into the weekend trailing Texan Spies by 18 points, but he soon made inroads into that advantage by taking a well-judged win in race one. read more