Spies draws and holds up in World Superbike !
On Saturday in the Qatari desert, the Texan Ben Spies imposed his law: Superpole, fastest lap in the race and doubled! Haga and Biaggi tried to retaliate, but the American was too strong … In Supersport, Laverty won his first race. Story.
First Superbike race
As soon as the red lights go out, Biaggi takes command ahead of Haga, Smrz, Nakano and Spies. Quickly, this "club of five" moves away from the peloton led by our national Regis Laconi behind which are placed Byrne, Corser, Checa and Parkes…
"It was a tough race", will confess Biaggi,"my opponents were glued to me and it was not easy to maintain the good pace and stay focused with all this pressure !"
Because behind the RSV4 of the Roman Emperor is the world champion Ducati, driven by the multiple vice-world champion Nitro Nori himself! Spies meanwhile is content to follow at a distance – that is to say a few meters, behind Nakano and Smrz – his two main rivals.
From the 3rd lap, the Japanese and the Czech, in fact, lose contact with the leading Italian-Japanese duo. Seeing this, the American on his Yam ‘makes short work of the Aprilia n ° 56 and the Ducati n ° 96: he almost instantly joins their respective "sisters", the Aprilia n ° 3 and the Ducati. n ° 41…
The laps are linked and none of the three leading drivers arrive – or wish yet? – make the difference : "the three of us were good in different parts of the circuit so it was very interesting", observed Ben Spies later.
The Texan, known for his excellent race management, waits for the 12th lap before making the decisive attack: while Haga shifts to try to overtake Biaggi at the end of the straight line, Spies takes the opportunity to shift too and brake in Japanese !
Biaggi therefore retains the lead in the race but cracks under the pressure of the three-time United States champion a few turns further … "Max widened a bit, so I moved on", explains Ben. The" rookie "then executes three perfect laps and digs between his Yam ‘and the two Italians a gap of more than a second !
A gap that neither Haga nor Biaggi will be able to fill, too busy fighting for the second step of the podium! The fight between the two men is beautiful and will ultimately turn to Noriyuki’s advantage. The Japanese can congratulate himself: this is his best result at Losail !
Max can also rejoice: "I am very happy, not only to be on the podium but also to know that I am fighting regularly for the best places". Could the Roman, in his year on the RSV4, obtain a fifth world star? It will be necessary to check on the European tracks…
However, his teammate Nakano confirms the potential of the new Aprilia by finishing this first round in a well-deserved 4th !
"It was only in the last laps that Checa caught up to me and passed me, then he made a mistake and I finally managed to regain my 4th place", says the Japanese rider who thus finished half a second ahead of the Spaniard, a second ahead of Shane Byrne and a second and a half ahead of Tom Sykes.
Kiyonari managed to narrowly hold on to his 8th place against Corser while Laconi, who had started well, failed in 10th place, due to a lack of grip on his Ducati from the DFX Corse team, more than 20 seconds behind Spies. It will be difficult for him to do better in the second round.
Same observation for Broc Parkes who hangs on the handlebars of his Ninja a distant 14th place: "we had a good start (he was 10th in the first round, Editor’s note) and we were in the second group"Says the Australian, unable to keep up with the pace.
The n ° 23 however marks the first points of Kawa this year. Tamada, he did not take part in the races on Saturday: "I had a very big fall during the warm-up and I climbed very, very high before", specifies the unfortunate n ° 100.
Assessment: a big broken left toe and a right hip to watch out for at home in Japan … "It should be fine for the Valencia races (in three weeks, Editor’s note) ", however assured the Japanese on Saturday night. On the other hand, he could be absent from the private tests taking place a week earlier.
On the Suzuki side, it’s the berezina: the two Alstare pilots made a mistake and did not score any points on this round! Muggeridge, on the private Suz ‘of the Celani Race team, finished 16th…
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