There’s a lot of talk this year about how WSBK will be more entertaining than MotoGP, and while we here at A&R do love us some MotoGP, one thing that WSBK will always have that’s better is TWO races on Sunday. Just like Race 1, Race 2 was action packed, and saw some familiar names taking shots at each other on the tarmac. Click ahead for spoilers and a full breakdown of Race 2 at Phillip Island.
Ben Spies wasn’t about to let down the spectators in Australia twice in-a-row. Getting a crap start, Spies was edged out by a Max Biaggi into turn one. However, anyone expecting Spies to go easy, weight, and setup his opponent before attacking, we were looking at the wrong guy. Nobody goes around the outside at turn 2, especially not around a rider like Max Biaggi – nobody that is until Ben Spies. The rookie went the long way around the Roman Emperor, and made it stick, taking the lead. Max would also see Noriyuki Haga pass him as well in lap 2, as the Japanese rider dispatched no less than 10 other riders to get behind Biaggi before finally passing him.
With Biaggi losing ground in third place, Haga and spies spent the next 10 laps making moves and passes that dazzled the crowd, and with just three laps to go Spies grabbed the lead back from the then leading Haga, and then pulled away to clinch his first WSBK race win.
The battle for third proved to be exciting as well, with Max Biaggi, Regis Laconi, Leon Haslam and Michel Fabrizio all within a second of each other going into the last lap. The position of third place changed hands like a juggler’s balls until the pack came screaming into the penultimate turn. Max Biaggi found himself with nowhere to go after a bold pass backfired and had to make a turf excursion, much to the delight of the Aussie spectators. Biaggi would finish the race in 15th place.
Leon Haslam reaped the benefits of the carnage to take third place and his first World Superbike podium in what is also his debut weekend.
The Alstare Suzukis of Neukirchner and Kagayama that took second and third in race one were well off the pace in the second race, finishing 6th and 8th. Also suffering in race 2 were BMW’s Troy Corser in 22nd, and Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shakey Byrne, who slid off his 1098R at low speed in the turn 4 hairpin and was unable to rejoin.
Race 2 Results from the 2009 Phillip Island World Superbikes Round:
|1||19||B. Spies||USA||Yamaha YZF R1||34’20.457|
|2||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||1.286|
|3||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||4.213|
|4||55||R. Laconi||FRA||Ducati 1098 RS 09||4.490|
|5||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||6.045|
|6||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||9.947|
|7||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||10.174|
|8||71||Y. Kagayama||JPN||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||12.100|
|9||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||12.742|
|10||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||20.061|
|11||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||24.854|
|12||56||S. Nakano||JPN||Aprilia RSV4||25.192|
|13||7||C. Checa||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR||27.162|
|14||33||T. Hill||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||29.737|
|15||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4||30.036|
|16||44||R. Rolfo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||38.458|
|17||100||M. Tamada||JPN||Kawasaki ZX 10R||44.453|
|18||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||45.486|
|19||24||B. Roberts||AUS||Ducati 1098R||46.198|
|20||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||57.921|
|21||31||K. Muggeridge||AUS||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||57.989|
|22||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1’00.093|
|23||9||R. Kiyonari||JPN||Honda CBR1000RR||1’07.820|
|24||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’21.224|
|25||25||D. Salom||ESP||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’21.276|
|RET||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R|
|RET||77||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR|