Fate hits the leaders at Monza
Sunday at Monza, Spies should have won both races while Haga and Neukirchner could have accompanied him on both podiums. But the race wanted it differently! In Supersport, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Triumph still harass Honda…
Second Superbike race
Less eventful than in the first round, the start of the second round was however marked by the sudden slowing down of Haga: out in front of the first chicane, the Japanese were in 6th place in the second turn and kept falling behind in the standings….
Spies, on the other hand, is in top form and the sudden drop in power of his enemy n ° 41 allows him to deploy his strategy more calmly: "I got into a good rhythm during the first 12 to 14 laps to build a safety margin. I didn’t want to encounter the same problem as in the first run so I then slowed down a bit and upshifted a bit earlier".
In the very first laps, Fabrizio was threatened by a fiery Kagayama. But the Japanese ended up doing too much: he almost went highside and had to let the Italian as well as his pursuers Kiyonari and Rea pass in front of him..
Kagayama’s hopes are then dashed by a stint in the pit lane – for cutting a chicane, like Vittorio Iannuzzo, David Checa and David Salom -: "I left last and my ascent was difficult, especially because of the vibrations of the bike, but I managed to finish 17th", will tell the pilot of the Gex n ° 71.
His great friend Noriyuki Haga is not clear either since he made a mistake in the 3rd lap at the level of the parabolic: "at the very start of the second race, my arm hit a bird: it hurt a lot and I lost all feeling", will finally reveal the leader of the championship !
"I tried to continue the race but it was too hard and finally I fell". For the first time this year, Nitro Nori finished neither first nor second! Arrived at Monza with 60 points ahead of Spies, Haga is therefore closely monitoring the American’s race..
A solo race, masterfully led: after all, Ben is a two-time American champion … "The bike was going well and I could have kept my fast times but I preferred to ensure", recalled Spies at the end of the race.
Alone in 2nd position, Fabrizio effectively nibbles ground on Spies from the 13th lap: the lead of the American drops from 5.7 seconds to less than 3 seconds on the finish line…
"I had to take the mule for the 2nd race and for some reason, I found it difficult at the start, I didn’t have a very good feeling and I couldn’t attack", will regret Michel, who still managed to deal with:"I focused on finding a new podium and it got easier".
Housed in 4th and 5th position, Johnny Rea and Max Biaggi either do not find this additional speed allowing them to climb on a podium which nevertheless stretched out their arms to them. "I tried to catch up with Fabrizio and Kiyo, but they had a little more left in the tank at the end", noted Jonathan, unable to keep in touch from the 14th lap…
The end of the race show is provided by four men: far behind Sykes and Haslam, Ruben Xaus, Carlos Checa, Jakub Smrz and Ragis Laconi are fighting like ragpickers for 8th place. In the last three laps, the S1000R, the CBR1000RR and the two 1098s pretend to be Grand Prix 125s !
Much better off than in the first race, Ryuichi Kiyonari once again draws attention to the race leader. N ° 9 shows the end of its fairing to Fabrizio in the penultimate loop: "I had the speed to catch up with Fabrizio but it was not enough to pass him", remarked the Honda rider, who had not been seen at the forefront from Qatar !
Unlike Fabrizio who is holding on to the pressure, Carlos Checa cannot stand the pressure inflicted on him by his three comrades: the Spaniard shoots straight into the first chicane and lets Smrz and Xaus pass … but not Laconi !
On the control screens – and on TV – then appears David Checa, alone in 19th position … the director corrects the shooting and redirects his cameras on Spies, the n ° 19 who winds up at the head of the race and easily wins his 5th SBK World Cup victory !
He is followed by Michel Fabrizio and Ryuichi Kiyonari, then Jonathan Rea, Max Biaggi, Tom Sykes – still 6th, an excellent place for a rookie who suffers from the comparison with Spies … – and Leon Haslam. Jakub Smrz finally takes the coveted 8th place ahead of Ruben Xaus, Carlos Checa and Regis Laconi.
In the general classification, Ben Spies scooped 6 points to Noriyuki Haga: their respective scores were 200 and 146 points. Michel Fabrizio (125 pts) steals his 3rd place from Leon Haslam (103) while poor Neukirchner (counter stuck at 75 pts) downgrades from 4th to 9th place, behind Sykes (90) Biaggi (81) Laconi and Rea ( 77 both).
On the constructors’ side, Ducati confirmed its 1st place with a total of 225 points, against 180 for Yamaha, 141 for Honda, 89 for Suzuki, 84 for Aprilia and 59 for BMW. Despite having almost doubled its score in a weekend (from 10 to 19 points), Kawasaki remains last.
Barely recovered from their emotions, the World Superbike – and Supersport – riders are already leaving for Kyalami in South Africa, where they will compete in their 6th event of the year this Sunday. With the GP of France, this weekend promises to be sporting! Stay connected…
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