WSBK – Ben Spies is World Superbike Champion! – Second Superbike race

Ben Spies is World Superbike Champion !

WSBK - Ben Spies is World Superbike Champion! - Second Superbike race

Yesterday in Portimao was the final of the SBK World Cup: Haga and Spies had to engage in a merciless duel, but the Japanese stumbled in the first round and the American was able to ensure in second! In Supersport, Cal Crutchlow takes the title. Report.

Second Superbike race

Ben Spies starts off correctly but Shane Byrne holds it high: the Englishman takes the lead in braking! Max Biaggi, Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Noriyuki Haga and Yukio Kagayama are in their wheels! Jonathan passes in front of Max but at the first passage in the straight line, the Italian climbs again in 3rd position in front of Rea !

In the 2nd lap, the Irishman and his CBR n ° 65 overtake the Italian again and his RSV4 n ° 3 and a small loss of grip of the Aprilia allows the Honda to take a little lead. Johnny thus finds himself alone under the pot of Big Ben.

On the 3rd passage in front of the pits, Ben, Jonathan and Max tackle the first corner head-on just behind Shakey still in the lead! The American retains his 2nd place, and Rea his 3rd … narrowly. But Johnny is in great shape: in this 3rd lap, he passed Spies and began a brilliant comeback on Byrne who thought he could make the beautiful !

Behind, Haga is concentrated: he remains conscientiously glued to Biaggi’s rear wheel, except when the latter hurries off the track! Nitro Nori thus finds himself in 4th position, just behind Spies! Hidden behind Nori until now, Michel Fabrizio goes on the attack in the 5th lap.

The Italian overtook Spies in the next lap but unfortunately for Haga, the hot Biaggi passed in front of his Ducati n ° 41 at the same time! In the 7th loop, it was Spies’ turn to give way to Biaggi. Ben and Noriyuki find themselves together again !

In the lead, Jonathan Rea accommodates his Honda in the aspiration of the Ducati de Byrne. Fabrizio is only a few lengths away but he has to keep a close eye on his compatriot Biaggi! Behind again, Haga easily overtakes Spies in the 8th lap: the Japanese must imperatively go hunting for big points…

Halfway through the race, Jonathan Rea decides to take the lead: Johnny passes Shakey. The following lap, Michel Fabrizio did the same and even briefly stole the reins of the race from Johnny! A superb fight begins between the two men, allowing Byrne and Biaggi to keep in touch.

At several lengths, Haga is doing his best to return to the podium as well. Spies is stuck in 6th position and does not seem able to do better. In the 14th lap, Fabrizio manages to take back the controls of the race: thanks to this, he passes "virtually" in front of Max Biaggi in the championship. !

Max is just caught by Noriyuki Haga … There are eight laps to go and the Japanese are only three seconds behind the leading men. Spies is still 6th, but Leon Camier and Jakub Smrz are catching up to him little by little! Spies is 15 points ahead of Haga … what will happen at the end of this last race ?

Six laps to go, Biaggi once again got off the track and left Haga to fight alone against Byrne for 3rd place. In front, Fabrizio and Rea continue to delight the public: in the 18th lap, the Irishman again doubles the Italian !

Four laps from the end, Haga climbed to the 3rd step of the podium while Spies overtook Biaggi to gain 5th place. In this configuration, Spies is sacred with 242 points, against 232 for Haga…

There are only three laps left and Noriyuki Haga is getting closer and closer to his teammate Michel Fabrizio, himself housed in the wheel of leader Jonathan Rea. Meanwhile, Ben Spies keeps Max Biaggi behind him, and Sylvain Guintoli does the same in 10th position with his new teammate Yukio Kagayama. !

At the start of the last lap, Fabrizio takes the lead in the race ahead of Rea. The Irishman tries to recover it but widens and lets Haga pass! Will Michel give way to Nori? For the Japanese, this 2nd place is not enough to win the title. But even the 1st place Fabrizio firmly holds would not allow it….

Fabrizio, who prefers not to turn around, therefore wins the very last race of the season ahead of Haga and Rea. Byrne gets a nice 4th place but Ben Spies is undoubtedly the happiest of all: despite his "small" 5th place, the Texan wins the world title from his first – and only? – season in World Superbike !

The Yamaha clan is in heaven: with Rossi in MotoGP and Crutchlow in Supersport, this is the third world title for a Yam ‘rider this Sunday! The title SBK has a very special flavor: it is the first of the brand to tuning forks in this category….

Ironically, Haga – emeritus rider of R1 and R7, spent this year with the constructors’ champion Ducati – inherits a 4th "title" of vice-world champion. But unlike Spies who escapes next year in MotoGP, the Japanese will fight again for the World Superbike title against Fabrizio, Biaggi, Rea, Haslam but also the newcomers: Toseland, Crutchlow and Vermeulen !

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