Spies Rebounds in Race Two

Cycle News Staff | May 10, 2009

Yamaha’s Ben Spies slightly closed the championship gap on Ducati Xerox’s Nori Haga after a dominant race two victory following heartbreak in the first race at the historic Autodromo Nazionale Monza.Spies was one corner away from winning leg one when he ran out of gas in a race that was won by Ducati Xerox’s Michel Fabrizio over teammate Haga. Spies coasted across the line in 15th.Spies had plenty of gas in race two as he sped to a flag to flag victory, his fifth of the year in what has been a boom or bust season. The Texan has five wins, a second, two crash DNF’s, a non-points finish in Australia, and today’s 15th.With nine rounds remaining Spies is 54 points down on Haga, 200 to 146, after arriving in Monza trailing by 60. Fabrizio is third with 125.Fabrizio got the jump on the field in race two, but it was Spies to the front at the end of lap one and every lap afterwards. The lead ballooned to nearly six seconds on lap 12 before he cruised to victory in the 18-lap race by 2.665 secs.While Spies was jetting into the distance, Haga was trying to make up for a bad start. The championship leader had completed lap one in 15th place and had only improved one spot when he crashed entering the long, sweeping Parabolica right that ends the lap, his Ducati F09 tumbling to the catch fence.Fabrizio and Ten Kate Honda Racing’s Ryuichi Kiyonari would duel over second. Fabrizio held it until the seventh lap when he gave it up to the Japanese on the brakes into turn one. Fabrizio used the draft to re-take second on the lap 12 and hold it to the end. The gap between them was .145 secs.Then came a gap of five seconds to fourth, won by Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea over Aprilia’s Max Biaggi.Spies’ teammate Tom Syke was a distant sixth and 1.2 secs. in front of fellow Englishman Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda). Jake Zemke finished 20th on the second Stiggy Racing Honda.The four-way fight over eighth went to Guandalini Racing’s Jakub Smrz (Duc) over BMW’s Ruben Xaus, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Carlos Checa, and DFX Corse’s Regis Laconi (Duc). Checa had been at the front of the quartet before running on at the first chicane and dropping first one, then a second spot.Race Two:1. Ben Spies (Yamaha)2. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati)4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda)5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)6. Tom Sykes (Yamaha)7. Leon Haslam (Honda)8. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)9. Ruben Xaus (BMW)10. Carlos Checa (Honda)Other:20. Jake Zemke (Honda)