Haga takes sensational double win at Vallelunga, Bayliss crashes out on last lap Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) scored a sensational double win in the twelfth round of the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship at the Vallelunga...
Haga takes sensational double win at Vallelunga, Bayliss crashes out on last lap
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB) scored a sensational double win in the twelfth round of the HANNspree FIM Superbike World Championship at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome in front of 82,000 spectators. The Japanese rider, who hadn't won a race since Nurburgring, took the maximum points, while championship leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) wasted an opportunity to clinch his third title when he crashed out on the final lap of race 2, postponing the race for the title until Magny-Cours.
Haga powered to his fifth win of the season, battling throughout the 24-lap race with an on-form Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati). The Italian tried everything to pass Haga but in the end had to settle for the runner-up slot. Third place went to Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB), while Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki) recovered from a poor start to grab fourth place from Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Bayliss, who struggled after making a wrong choice of tyre. Seventh went to Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), who ruined a good result in front of his home crowd with a poor start. Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Honda Althea) stalled at the start but then was able to recover to finish eighth.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): "I'm really very happy because this weekend my feeling with the bike was very good even though on Friday I had a big crash, but no problem. Also my body is feeling much better now. It was quite a tough race, 24 laps here is very long and I had pressure from Max but my bike was good and thanks also to my team for the win."
Max Biaggi (Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati): "It was a nice race and a nice start and I tried to keep up with Haga in front and then when Corser arrived he was really trying hard. Then I got back to Nori, but he was riding very good and it was tough for me, I was always behind him, I couldn't attack because I lost too much time going out of the curve."
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): "We made a change from the morning warm-up and the bike felt pretty good even though it was a bit of a gamble. In the infield section just before the last corner it jumped out of gear into neutral and I lost a bit of time. In the end I pushed as hard as I could to the two guys up front but it was too much to make up. I'm happy enough to get third because it's more points in the championship."
After winning race 1 Haga then took the honours in the second encounter, but he had to work much harder this time around as Bayliss never let up for one instant. The race was decided at the hairpin on the final lap, when Troy crashed out at low speed. The Australian thus misses out on a chance to clinch the title with two rounds remaining, although now he needs just 21 points from the last four races to become champion for the third time. Fabrizio scored a superb second place, which he snatched from Corser on the final lap. Behind the top 3 Neukirchner and Checa again finished fourth and fifth, while Shinichi Nakatomi (YZF Yamaha) and Regis Laconi (Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse) finished eighth and ninth. Biaggi and Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) tangled in a nasty-looking crash in the fast section just after the start of the race, the Italian coming away without any serious injury with the Turkish rider suffered bruising in the pelvic area.
Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): "Troy and I had a really big fight and I am sorry for Troy's crash, but I really enjoyed battling with him. It was a great day for me and the team, a big thanks to everyone. Now I have to think about the next round and I will try and push hard again."
Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox): "Thank you Rome and Vallelunga for all the support they have shown me this weekend, this result is really good for me and also for my Ducati team. I had a fantastic battle with Corser, it was difficult to catch him but I was gaining one-tenth of a second on him every lap and in the end I got him."
Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia WSB): "I'm a bit disappointed with another third place to be honest. We changed the bike between the races and the rear tyre seemed to work better at the beginning but towards the end though the last Esses I was losing too much time. The result is good for the championship, it's a shame that Troy crashed, but congratulations to Michel, he was riding really hard."
FIM Supersport World Championship
Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) scored his third win of the season at Vallelunga, dominating the Supersport race from start to finish. With this result Rea has reduced to 11 points the gap to points leader, team-mate Andrew Pitt, who crashed out from fourth place four laps from the end, while trying to pass Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Supersport) for third. The runner-up slot went to Broc Parkes (Yamaha World Supersport), who still has a chance of the title despite being 30 points behind. Joan Lascorz (Glaner Motocard.com Honda) scored a positive fifth place, his best result for some time, the Spaniard finishing ahead of Barry Veneman (RES Software Suzuki) and Robbin Harms (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda). Donington winner Joshua Brookes (Hannspree Stiggy Motorsport Honda) had a disappointing race, the Australian finishing twelfth after receiving a ride-through penalty for cutting the chicane.