Five Straight For Spies

Cycle News Staff | May 9, 2009

Ben Spies has done it again. Saving his best for last, the Texan rode his factory Yamaha R1 to his fifth straight pole position in the World Superbike Championship today at the Monza circuit in Italy – keeping his perfect qualifying record for 2009 intact.Spies lapped at 1:44.073 to shatter the lap record held by Troy Bayliss, besting Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio in the process – the Italian having led every session prior to the final Superpole session. Fabrizio was just .197 of a second behind Spies and .372 of a second clear of the surprise of Superpole – Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari in his best effort of the still-young season.The final spot on the front row for tomorrow’s two World Superbike races at Monza will be taken by German Max Neukirchner, the Alstare Suzuki rider also in the 1:44s on his GSX-R1000.The second row will be led by Ducati Xerox’s Noriyuki Haga, the World Championship points leader lapping at 1:45.096 to hold back the advances of Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea, the Northern Ireland rider just.074 of a second behind Haga. Then came Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian ending up seventh despite crashing in the session. The final spot on the second row will be taken by Alstare Suzuki’s Yukio Kagayama, the Japanese star 1.7 seconds off Spies’ best.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Carlos Checa will lead row three as the first man not to make it to the final Superpole session. Checa led Yamaha’s Tom Sykes, BMW’s Troy Corser, Ducati privateer Regis Laconi and Kawasaki’s Broc Parkes.Stiggy Honda fill-in rider Jake Zemke failed to make it to Superpole, but his 25th place qualifying effort wasn’t far off teammate Leon Haslam’s 17th.

Final Qualifying

1.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:44.073

2.                  Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:44.270

3.                  Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 1:44.642

4.                  Max Neukirchner (Suzuki) 1:44.900

5.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:45.096

6.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:45.170

7.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:45.605

8.                  Yukio Kagayama (Suzuki) 1:45.861

9.                  Carlos Checa (Honda) 1:45.166

10.                  Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 1:45.38325. Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:47.751