Portimao: Series Sunday notes

2009 World Superbike: Spies came, saw and conquered! Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) won the first race and then controlled the situation in race 2 to take his and Yamaha's first ever World Superbike Championship title in front of an 86,000...

2009 World Superbike: Spies came, saw and conquered!

Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) won the first race and then controlled the situation in race 2 to take his and Yamaha's first ever World Superbike Championship title in front of an 86,000 crowd in the final round of the series at Portimao. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), points leader going into the decider, crashed out in race 1, making things easier for the Texan, who was fifth in the second race. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) took the win in race 2, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) were the other podium finishers.

Race 1

Race 1 was dominated from start to finish by Spies, who took his fourteenth win of the season and overhauled Haga in the title chase. The Texan, who rocketed away from the line, comfortably held off any attempts at an attack from Biaggi, then upped his pace to go on to take a solitary chequered flag. With this result Spies now has a 15-point advantage over Haga, who lost the front and crashed on lap 7 while making up time in fifth place. The runner-up slot went to Rea, who got the better of Biaggi after a terrific duel. The best Ducati rider to the line in fourth place was Shane Byrne, in one of his best races of the year, while fifth went to Michel Fabrizio (Ducati), who compromised his race with a bad start. Leon Camier had a good run to sixth for Aprilia, while Ruben Xaus finished eighth on the first BMW. Both Suzukis failed to finish, Yukio Kagayama crashing out and Sylvain Guintoli was forced to retire.

Ben Spies: "It was actually a really tough race, at first I was just going for the win, getting to the front and not worrying about anything. Then when Haga was out I had to win to get as many points as possible for race 2. Once you have a gap, you don't want to be stupid and throw it all away."

Jonathan Rea: "It took a little bit of time for my tyres to get right in but when they did they were good until the end. The team and the bike have been working really good and I can't thank them enough. It's the first time I've ever had such a result in race 1 and I'm sure in race 2 I'll be strong again."

Max Biaggi: "I didn't maybe have the chance to set up the bike the way I want and I had a few small problems, and then sometimes I made a few mistakes and this lost me some tenths. But I'm pleased with the result, even though I'm so sore from the accident yesterday and I didn't think I could do the whole distance."

Race 2

Spies monitored Haga all the way in race 2 to take the fifth place that was enough to give him the 2009 title. The American only had to finish sixth, but he preferred to shy away from any direct confrontation and together with Haga's second place, the result gave him the title by six points. Fabrizio scored his third win of the season after a terrific scrap with Rea, who took the final podium slot, while Shane Byrne was again a protagonist of the race and finished fourth. Biaggi looked spectacular on the track, but the Italian made several errors and could only finish in sixth, while team-mate Leon Camier ran another convincing race in seventh, ahead of Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) and Corser (BMW), while this time both Suzuki riders Guintoli and Kagayama finished in the points.

Ben Spies: "First I've got to thank Yamaha for giving me everything I needed to win. It was really good, we did what we had to do and it was difficult to do that because the pace was quite fast and I saw that there were a couple of people behind me. I knew that if Nori won I had to be sixth, so I tried to stay out of trouble. It was spectacular, I can't thank Yamaha enough and everyone who's been behind me for my first year here. It'll sink in in the next couple of days!".

Michel Fabrizio: "Both Jonathan and I showed that we're going to be up at the front next year and we're going to do a lot of these battles. I really wanted that win, Johnny made a mistake here at the last curve, maybe a gear slipped or something, and for me it was all OK. Just as well because otherwise it would have been difficult to overtake him."

Noriyuki Haga: "This weekend we had a problem with the rear tyre and in the first race we made a mistake with the tyre choice and I crashed. Second race was quite good, I was worried for the tyre life, but I started to push and I am happy for second position. Unlucky for today for the title but I try to do my best for next year and congratulations to Ben for the world title."

Jonathan Rea: "With Michel I was racing for my own championship position and it seemed to be a little bit of a fight and I had to do something on the last lap to win the race and get fourth in the championship. I tried everything but made a mistake which allowed Michel to get past. But this is my best weekend of the season with a double podium."


Mission accomplished for Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Supersport)! Thanks to a four place in the final round, the British rider took the 2009 title in his debut year in the championship. The race win however went to Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), who did what he had to do and won but Crutchlow was impeccable in fourth and took home a well-deserved title. The runner-up slot went to Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), who finished the championship in third place, a result that was made easier by the retirement of his chief rival Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com). It was a good day also for Triumph, who saw Garry McCoy step onto the podium for the second time this year, and Chaz Davies finish in seventh. Fifth place went to Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea), who got the better of Michele Pirro (Yamaha Lorenzini), who scored his best result of the season. It was a disappointing day for Massimo Roccoli (Honda Intermoto Czech), who crashed out, while Honda, thanks to Laverty's win, took the category's constructors' title.

Superstock 1000

Xavier Simeon (Ducati Xerox) crowned the title he won at Magny-Cours in the best possible way by going on to take a dominant win in the final round at Portimao. For the Belgian rider, who has always been on the podium this year, it was the fifth win in ten races, a clear sign of his supremacy and that of Ducati, winners of the last three titles. Claudio Corti (Suzuki Alstare) did everything possible to keep up with the pace of the new champion, before settling for second place a couple of laps from the end. Third went to Javi Fores (Kawasaki Pedercini), who beat off Rene Mahr (TKR Suzuki) in a sprint finish. Poleman Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Honda) made an early mistake and was unable to recover, but he did finish ahead of fellow Frenchmen Loris Baz (MRS Yamaha) and Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Yamaha). It was a race to forget for Daniele Beretta (Ducati Xerox), who crashed in the early laps and was unable to hold on to his fifth place in the championship.

Superstock 600

The European Superstock 600 Championship battle had a terrific ending as Britain's Gino Rea (Ten Kate Honda) scored a third place finish in the race to take the title by just one point from Marco Bussolotti (Yamaha Trasimeno), winner today ahead of Vincent Lonbois (MTM Yamaha), who finished third overall in the standings. The race revolved around the duel between these three riders, who repeatedly exchanged positions and the result went right down to the line. Danilo Petrucci (Yamaha Trasimeno) was immediately out of the equation as he lost touch with the leading trio, while poleman Eddi La Marra (Honda Lorini) crashed on the sighting lap before taking his place on the grid.

-credit: wsbk

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Garry McCoy , Noriyuki Haga , Ruben Xaus , Ben Spies , Kenan Sofuoglu , Yukio Kagayama , Shane Byrne , Eugene Laverty , Michel Fabrizio , Sylvain Guintoli , Chaz Davies , Jonathan Rea , Xavier Simeon , Daniele Beretta , Maxime Berger , Cal Crutchlow , Leon Camier , Joan Lascorz , Rene Mahr , Michele Pirro , Mark Aitchison , Danilo Petrucci , Loris Baz , Gino Rea