This weekend, World Superbike Championship racing returned to South Africa at the Kyalami circuit, much to the delight of local motorcycle fans. The Kyalami track, which had been scheduled to be demolished, and then have housing built in its place, features vast elevation changes and sweeping bends, and has been much improved since the removal of the chicane at Turn 12. So interest was high in how the racing would turn out on this tight twisty circuit. Continue reading for a full race report on Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa.
Fastest off the line in Race 1, Noriyukia Haga lead the pack into the first turn, followed closely by Max Biaggi, and Ben Spies. Spies got past Biaggi in Turn 2, but Xerox Ducati teammate Michel Fabrizio soon entered the fray. By the end of the first lap, it was a 1-2 Xerox Ducati race. Haga, Fabrizio, and Spies soon had a gap on the rest of the field, as they had done in Monza just last weekend.
Haga’s lead would not be long-lived, with Michel Fabrizio taking over first place on the second lap. The Ducati’s proved to be too fast for Spies, who slowly lost contact with the pair. Haga, able to hang with the pace Fabrizio was pushing, patiently waited for his chance for the next 10 laps, seizing the opportunity when it presented itself on lap 12, taking back the lead.
Once past Fabrizio, Haga pushed hard to leave his Italian teammate behind. With Spies pushing hard, soon Fabrizio was in the sights of the American. By lap 17, Spies was close enough to attempt a pass, taking 2nd place from Fabrizio as the pair entered the final corner. Answering back, Fabrizio passed Spies, with the American returning the favor right back, once again. As Spies and Fabrizio battled over 2nd spot, Haga took advantage of the situation, and built enough of a lead that he could defend comfortably.
Fending off Fabrizio, Spies had a big moment going through Turn 5, and watched as the Italian sped past, set on catching Haga. Haga took victory in Race 1, ahead of Fabrizio, with Spies forced to settle for 3rd. Ten Kate Honda’s Johnny Rea came home in 4th, just holding off Max Biaggi at the line. The Emperor had chased Rea down in the second half of the race, but could not get past him in the final moments.
Result of World Superbike Race 1 at Kyalami, South Africa:
|1||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R|
|2||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||0.950|
|3||19||B. Spies||USA||Yamaha YZF R1||3.391|
|4||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||8.914|
|5||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||9.019|
|6||7||C. Checa||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR||14.812|
|7||56||S. Nakano||JPN||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||14.971|
|8||71||Y. Kagayama||JPN||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||15.723|
|9||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||21.529|
|10||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||21.795|
|11||36||G. Lavilla||ESP||Ducati 1098R||29.872|
|12||9||R. Kiyonari||JPN||Honda CBR1000RR||34.216|
|13||132||S. Morais||RSA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||34.275|
|14||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||38.280|
|15||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||40.885|
|16||10||F. Nieto||ESP||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||44.841|
|17||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||49.075|
|18||31||K. Muggeridge||AUS||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||49.702|
|19||33||T. Hill||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||50.065|
|20||25||D. Salom||ESP||Kawasaki ZX 10R||50.391|
|21||49||S. Whyte||RSA||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap|
|22||17||S. Martin||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||2 Laps|
|RET||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||10 Laps|
|RET||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||23 Laps|