WSBK – Ben Spies reacts in Salt Lake City! – First Superbike race

Ben Spies reacts in Salt Lake City !

WSBK - Ben Spies reacts in Salt Lake City! - First Superbike race

The Salt Lake City event closes the first half of the 2009 SBK World Cup season … After Haga and Fabrizio’s demonstration at Kyalami, Spies took advantage of his time in the USA to score big points. And the Supersports are also part of the trip !

First Superbike race

When the red light goes out, Ben Spies leaves his opponents far behind. Provident, the Texan worked his departures: "with such a long straight line we needed it"says Ben.

But the best start is undoubtedly taken by Noriyuki Haga who dives into the first corner in 2nd place! Two bends later, the Japanese on his Ducati is nevertheless overtaken by a compatriot on Aprilia: Shinya Nakano !

In 4th place, we find Ryuichi Kiyonari and his Honda n ° 9 ahead of Broc Parkes on his Kawasaki n ° 23 and Carlos Checa on his Honda n ° 7. In front, Ben Spies tries to pack himself in from the start of the race … and succeeds perfectly !

In a single lap, Ben "Elbowz" Spies widens a gap of 2 seconds on his five pursuers! The second group consists of practically the same machines as the first: a Ducati – Fabrizio, an Aprilia – Biaggi -, a Kawasaki – Hacking – and two Honda – Rea and Haslam.

Posted in 4th position, Haga failed to keep pace with his compatriots Kiyonari and Nakano: he was overtaken by Checa in the 2nd lap. The Honda really appreciate the American track: in front of Carlos, Ryuichi manages – on the second try – to steal his 2nd place from Shinya !

But the winged brand is not the only one to animate this start of the race: the Ninjas of Parkes and Hacking allow themselves to compete with the Aprilia of Biaggi and the Ducati of Haga. !

In the 6th lap, Shinya Nakano is passed by Carlos Checa. The n ° 56 tries to follow the n ° 7 but leaves to the fault: while he registers his RSV4 in a turn, a bitumen connection makes him lose the front and the Japanese slips for several tens of meters…

On the track, the show continues: after getting rid of Max Biaggi, Jamie Hacking passes in front of his teammate Broc Parkes then in front of Carlos Checa. AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike # 2 Proves America is Full of Talent !

Unfortunately for "The Hacker", the race is interrupted by red flags: Karl Muggeridge’s Suzuki is evacuated from the track by the marshals while the Australian recovers his spirits after a violent highside…

A second start is given. In accordance with the regulations, the times of the second part of the race must be added to those obtained in the first: Spies had a lead of 4 seconds on Kiyonari on the 5th lap, 4.9 seconds on Checa, 5.5 on Fabrizio, about 7, 5 on Haga, Parkes and Hacking, 8 seconds on Biaggi, 8.7 on Rea and 9 on Haslam.

Ben Spies’ second start was not as good as the first, so Kiyonari dived into the lead at the first corner. A great battle begins between the two men while behind, the Kawa are again noticed: Hacking revolves around Biaggi and Checa, Parkes around Haga and Rea.

Up front, Ryuichi is doing his best to defend his first place against Ben Spies, but he must abdicate well before the end of the first round. Likewise, the Japanese must bow to Carlos Checa on the first braking of the 2nd lap: can the Spaniard follow "Big Ben" ?

The American responds immediately: no, the Honda n ° 7 can do nothing against the Yam ‘n ° 19! In two laps, the difference between the two machines amounts to more than a second and a half and remains stable during the first two thirds of this "second" race….

"The first race was quite easy for me: it’s a fabulous track when you can start in front and get into a good rhythm", attests the n ° 19 of the official Yamaha team.

Behind, Carlos Checa’s teammates ride together but must remain vigilant: the Honda Ten Kate of Kiyonari and Rea are caught by Max Biaggi and his Aprilia n ° 3…

At a few lengths, another Italian couple is particularly effective: Fabrizio and his 1098! "After the second start, I felt like I was a ping-pong ball! Three or four guys from all over made me lose some places", relates Michel.

Nevertheless, the Ducati n ° 84 ends up sowing its main rivals, the Kawasaki of Parkes and Hacking which literally roll fairing against fairing in front of Haslam and Haga, visibly diminished by its cabriole of the day before..

"I didn’t have a good feeling with my bike in the 1st round", admits Nitro Nori:"it was very hot and i can’t say i had the easy part !"But the Japanese know that he must not let go: three small points have already deprived him of a world champion title in 2007 against Toseland…

Taking advantage of the large steering of the Honda n ° 9 in the change of angle of the pif-paf on a slope, Jonathan Rea seized 3rd place on the 8th lap. At the same time, over time, Kiyonari is "overtaken" by Checa who climbs on the 2nd step of the virtual podium.

In the lead, Ben Spies does not panic when the gap separating him from Checa falls by a few tenths. From the 10th lap, the American even decides to accelerate and sticks half a second per lap to the former MotoGP star !

In the background, Max Biaggi continues his comeback and overtakes Kiyonari on the 11th lap. At the cumulative of the two rounds, the Roman Emperor is now aiming for the Top 5 composed of Spies, Checa, Kiyonari, Fabrizio and Rea.

In third place, Noriyuki Haga fights against Leon Haslam, Shayne Byrne, Yukio Kagayama and Jakub Smrz for 8th place on the track. The championship leader risks losing many points on this round … and on the second to come.

The final laps see Biaggi and Fabrizio arguing like ragpickers as Spies flies to another victory. He is followed on the track by Checa, Rea, Fabrizio, Biaggi, Kiyonari, Hacking, Byrne, Smrz, Kagayama, Haslam and Haga.

Once the addition of the lap times, we discover that Checa and Fabrizio accompany Spies on the final podium ahead of Kiyonari, Rea and Biaggi. Hacking, at the height of his 38 years, takes advantage of his experience in AMA SBK to hoist the first Kawa in 7th position ahead of Smrz, Haga and Haslam.

"I felt really good on the bike and I was comfortably seated in 4th place when the red flags were raised", recalls Jamie Hacking, finally satisfied with his 7th place, the best result of a Kawa this year. !

The first Suzuki is that of Yukio Kagayama (12th thanks to painkillers and his courage) and the first BMW is that of Troy Corser who finishes 15th while Ruben Xaus crosses the finish line penultimate, ahead of Erwan Nigon on the Yamaha n ° 64 of the GMT94 team.

"No need to hide the fact that this weekend has been very hard for us", testifies Troy Corser,"but even though we had some difficulties my main problem was my right shoulder: i damaged the ligament that connects the shoulder to the collarbone in monza and i have not yet recovered"…

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