After his poor start in the first race, further pressure was put on Spies who now stood 35 points behind Noriyuki Haga because of his crash out in Race 2. Surely Haga felt the pressure too, knowing that the American wouldn’t make the same mistakes a second time. With the Championship already playing out in the third stop of the WSBK tour, Race 2 already had more than just a purpose. Continue reading for spoilers from Race 2 of the Valencia World Superbike Races, and to see how Race 2 sorted itself out.
Trying to get a better start than before, Spies still had difficulty launching the Yamaha from the front of the pack. Instead, it was Regis Laconi again who held the lead going into Turn 1 of the Spanish circuit. Running wide on the exit however, Laconi allowed Max Neukirchner and Michel Fabrizio to get by and take the first and second place positions.
To make matters worse, Laconi also had Noriyuki Haga all over his tail section. Haga would later pass the Frenchman by the end of lap one. Seeing Haga pass Laconi, Spies followed suit, diving underneath the DFX Corse Ducati into Turn 6 to take fourth place. Haga made his way through the competition, passing teammate Michel Fabrizio, with Spies following doing the same. As the front runners entered the long left handed Turn 13, Haga was pushing Neukirchner hard for the lead, finally passed him going into Turn 1. Spies coming along a lap later.
Despite his efforts, the American could not touch the show that Haga was putting on for the Spanish crowd. Noriyuki Haga increased his lead lap by lap, to take his second win of the day, and third win of the Championship, by over 5 seconds. This included time lost in a big standup wheelie across the line to cap the day off.
Spies was lucky the race was not longer. After giving up on chasing Haga, the Texan spent the last few laps nervously watching Michel Fabrizio and Regis Laconi approach. Conversely, if the race had been three laps shorter, John Hopkins would have taken a very respectable eighth place finish. But Hopper had used up his tires in the early running, and was forced to allow first Max Biaggi, then Ryuichi Kiyonari, Tom Sykes, and finally even Shakey Byrne past, finishing the race in twelfth.
Results from Race 2 of the World Superbike Stop at Valencia:
|1||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||1’34.618||23|
|2||19||B. Spies||USA||Yamaha YZF R1||1’35.004||5.105||23|
|3||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||1’35.301||6.386||23|
|4||55||R. Laconi||FRA||Ducati 1098R||1’35.085||6.573||23|
|5||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||1’35.624||14.075||23|
|6||7||C. Checa||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR||1’35.337||17.333||23|
|7||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||1’35.336||19.207||23|
|8||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1’35.674||20.697||23|
|9||9||R. Kiyonari||JPN||Honda CBR1000RR||1’35.519||21.015||23|
|10||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||1’35.928||22.581||23|
|11||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||1’35.938||22.604||23|
|12||121||J. Hopkins||USA||Honda CBR1000RR||1’35.889||23.952||23|
|13||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||1’36.098||29.082||23|
|14||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||1’35.963||29.277||23|
|15||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||1’36.030||32.384||23|
|16||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||1’36.381||35.125||23|
|17||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’36.244||38.344||23|
|18||24||B. Roberts||AUS||Ducati 1098R||1’36.986||39.161||23|
|19||31||K. Muggeridge||AUS||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||1’36.507||39.374||23|
|20||94||D. Checa||ESP||Yamaha YZF R1||1’36.788||49.904||23|
|21||25||D. Salom||ESP||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’36.975||52.631||23|
|22||33||T. Hill||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||1’37.021||52.966||23|
|23||77||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||1’37.016||53.196||23|
|24||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’37.107||53.491||23|
|25||88||R. Resch||AUT||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||1’37.297||1’19.946||23|
|RET||71||Y. Kagayama||JPN||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||1’35.461||2 Laps||21|
|RET||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’37.264||3 Laps||20|
|RET||100||M. Tamada||JPN||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’36.674||12 Laps||11|
|RET||86||A. Badovini||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’37.070||16 Laps||7|