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 ...
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."