Spies takes championship lead, Haga crashes in race 2
The German Round of the Hannspree FIM Superbike World Championship offered a number of thrills and spills at the Nurburgring as Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) moved into the lead of the championship for the first time this year. In front of 42,000 spectators the Yamaha man took the race 1 win from Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), and his second place in race 2, in addition to a turn 1 crash for Haga, allowed him to open up an 18-point gap at the top of the table. Britain's Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) took his second win of the season with a commandeering performance in race 2.
Spies notched up his 12th win of the season at the end of a nail-biting scrap with his championship rival Haga, reducing the gap at the top of the table to just two points. The Japanese rider powered away to the best possible start, but Spies managed to recover by the mid-point, when he took over at the front. With a couple of laps to go before the chequered flag, Haga made a slight error and the Texan was able to cut loose to take the win. Third place went to Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who held off his team-mate Jonathan Rea for the final podium slot. There was another terrific battle for fifth between Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda) and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who finished in that order. Troy Corser scored a positive eighth place for BMW, with the Australian running in fourth for much of the race before dropping away in the final stages. Stand-in rider Karl Muggeridge brought the first Suzuki Alstare BRUX machine home in 12th, but both Kawasaki riders were forced into retirement. Makoto Tamada was involved in an incident shortly after the start together with John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda), and they were both taken to Adenau hospital for checks for slight concussion.
Ben Spies: "It was a good race, I didn't get a great start and I lost a little bit of time to get past Rea, while Nori got away a little bit and I really had to move to catch him. When I got Nori we passed and re-passed. It was tough because he was extremely fast in the first section. The bike started moving around quite a bit and then with three laps to go it was time to put the hammers down and go."
Noriyuki Haga: "I'm not so happy, I wanted to win and I felt sure I could win that race. I tried to overtake Ben everywhere but in some parts he was quicker than me and in some parts my bike was quicker than his, but I couldn't get past him, he was a little faster than me so I had to settle for second place. "
Carlos Checa: "Yesterday qualifying wasn't so good but we knew we had a good pace and a good feeling with the bike. I didn't feel so well this weekend either. My start wasn't good, but we had the pace during the race. And starting from behind it was fun, a good fight until the end with Johnny. So it's quite positive and I'm very happy."
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team returned to the top of the podium in the second encounter, thanks to a superb race by Jonathan Rea, who scored his second season win after the one at Misano. The British youngster finished just ahead of Spies, who thanks to Haga's turn 1 crash when he made contact with Rea, is now the points leader. 18 points lie between the two, with the title battle wide-open. Third place again went to Checa, ahead of Biaggi, who had another convincing run, this time to fourth, and Haslam in fifth. Corser was again one of the protagonists, with a sixth place finish for BMW. It wasn't a particularly good day for Fabrizio, who added a ninth place in race 2 to his seventh earlier on, the Italian finishing behind Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda) and Tom Sykes (Yamaha World Superbike). The final top-10 position went to Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki Alstare BRUX), while Kawasaki could only manage three points overall in the German race weekend, thanks to a thirteenth place in the second race by Broc Parkes.
Jonathan Rea: "I tried to ride my own race and mind my own business. I got a really bad start and had to get a bit aggressive with people in turn 1 because I had to regroup and come from a long way back. I had to put moves down quick, because I really messed up race 1 which was all my fault. We changed nothing in between, my guys sat me down and explained exactly what I had to do to win. I gave it all today, the package was really strong."
Ben Spies: "The track was a lot cooler and it was definitely much quicker. I didn't get off the line good and a bunch of people came round me in turn 1 and I lost almost two seconds to the lead. I came up to the front but by the time I got there I just didn't quite have the rear grip to get out of the corners in the last five laps. Johnny was not making any mistakes so hats off to him for winning. It wasn't my race, but we've got the championship lead now."
Carlos Checa: "I did such a really great start I couldn't believe it! Then I had a fight with Haga and Johnny passed me, he was quite strong. I tried to follow him until the end when I lost some metres. Ben also had some good pace and I saw that it was impossible to keep his pace but anyway third place is a good result for me and the team."
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport) scored another undisputed win in the 11th round of the championship at the Nurburgring. The points leader appeared to have an extra gear over his rivals right from the start of the weekend and showed it during the race when he immediately pulled away at the start and went on to take the chequered flag by 10 seconds. The next men to finish were Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda)and Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com), who engaged in a terrific scrap for the runner-up slot. Thanks to his second place Laverty keeps Crutchlow's lead down to 22 points with three rounds remaining. Massimo Roccoli (Intermoto Czech Honda) put in a good run to fourth place, the Italian holding off the attacks from Fabien Foret (Yamaha World Supersport). A bad start ruined the race of Garry McCoy (Triumph ParkinGo), but the Australian managed to finish eighth at the flag, while Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) looked as though he might challenge Crutchlow in the early laps but then crashed out and later retired.
Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox Junior Team) looks to be well on the way to winning this year's Superstock 1000 FIM Cup title after the Belgian youngster scored a lights to flag victory, his third in a row. Simeon now has a 40-point advantage over his closest rival Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare BRUX), who could only finish fifth. The runner-up slot went to Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda), who put together an incredible recovery from 16th position on the grid. Another positive podium place went to Javi Fores (Kawasaki Pedercini), while Davide Giugliano (Suzuki Celani) prevailed in a quartet of battling Italians, Corti finishing ahead of Daniele Beretta (Ducati Xerox) and Andrea Antonelli (Yamaha Trasimeno).
Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha) scored his second win in a row in the Superstock 600 class, and now becomes the leading rival for the European title to Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno). The Italian limited the damage with the runner-up slot, but is now only 8 points ahead of the Belgian with three rounds remaining. Third place went to Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno), who took the flag ahead of Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini), who almost got onto the podium. Britain's Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) could only finish sixth and is now 24 points down on Petrucci, while Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Yamaha) crashed out of the race.