WSBK: Race 1 at Nürburgring a Fight for the Championship Rekindled

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With the long summer break, everyone in World Superbike was waiting to see what would happen to the Championship Standings while at Germany. With two races on each race day, Ben Spies would have two chances to chip away at Noriyuki Haga’s 7 point lead, and finally take control of the series. With Haga still on the mend, the Nürburgring seemed like it would be hostile ground for the Xerox Ducati rider, but any thoughts of Haga being a push-over were quickly dispelled by his lightning Superpole performance.

Race 1 got off to a bit of a hickup, as a a pile up caused both Makoto Tamada and John Hopkins to be taken to the hospital for suspected injuries. With the restart of Race 1, Noriyuki Haga took an early lead, getting a great start from the pole position. Close behind were Ten Kate Honda’s Johnny Rea and BMW’s Troy Corser, followed by Ben Spies.

It took Spies 11 laps to claw his way up to the front, and pass Haga for the lead. The veteran Japanese rider wasn’t going to give the young American any free points though, and the pair battled all the rest of the race for supremacy.

It wasn’t to be Haga’s race though. With two laps left in Race 1, Spies found a little bit extra in himself, and was able to put a gap on Haga, leading him by 4 seconds across the finish line. Following Haga was Carlos Checa, who beat out his fellow Ten Kate teammate, Johnny Rea, to take the final spot on the podium.

With this finish, Haga’s Championship lead was reduced to just 2 points over Spies.

Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Nürburgring, Germany:

Pos. Num. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 19 B. Spies USA Yamaha YZF R1
2 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 3.850
3 7 C. Checa ESP Honda CBR1000RR 6.990
4 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR 7.109
5 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 12.825
6 91 L. Haslam GBR Honda CBR1000RR 13.243
7 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 14.223
8 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 14.382
9 66 T. Sykes GBR Yamaha YZF R1 17.206
10 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 26.547
11 14 M. Lagrive FRA Honda CBR1000RR 27.388
12 31 K. Muggeridge AUS Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 30.968
13 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 31.069
14 9 R. Kiyonari JPN Honda CBR1000RR 31.188
15 71 Y. Kagayama JPN Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 40.165
16 99 L. Scassa ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 54.897
17 25 D. Salom ESP Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’01.958
18 88 R. Resch AUT Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9 1 Lap
RET 56 S. Nakano JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6 Laps
RET 10 F. Nieto ESP Ducati 1098R 9 Laps
RET 94 D. Checa ESP Yamaha YZF R1 11 Laps
RET 77 V. Iannuzzo ITA Honda CBR1000RR 14 Laps
RET 47 R. Cooper GBR BMW S1000 RR 15 Laps
RET 23 B. Parkes AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 18 Laps
RET 15 M. Baiocco ITA Ducati 1098R 18 Laps
NS 121 J. Hopkins USA Honda CBR1000RR
NS 100 M. Tamada JPN Kawasaki ZX 10R