Spies Gets Number Nine

Paul Carruthers | June 28, 2009

Ben Spies had his first race-long battle with Max Biaggi today and the Texan can now add the former World Champion to the list of conquered with Spies winning his ninth World Superbike race of the season today in race one at Donington Park in England.In the end, Spies won by a tick over seven seconds, but that winning margin didn’t tell the story as Biaggi slowed on the final lap when his Aprilia started to run out of fuel. Fortunately for the Italian, the bike re-fired and he was able to get it to the finish for second place – his and Aprilia’s best effort to date and their first podium finish since the season opener in Qatar.Third place went to World Championsh points leader Noriyujki Haga, the Ducati Xerox rider tagging on to the lead duo for awhile, but unable to maintain the pace. His ride to third would be a lonely one.With Spies winning and Haga finishing third, 39 points now separate the two at the top of the championship.Fourth place went to Stiggy Honda’s Leon Haslam in his home race. Haslam battled with and beat Shane Byrne in the final laps to be the best finishing Brit in the race. Byrne was a shadow fifth as his season has begun to turn around following his strong performances in Misano last week.Aprilia’s strong day in England continued with Biaggi’s teammate Shinya Nakano finishing sixth. Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea ended up seventh.Californian John Hopkins climbed to eighth after starting 13th, the Stiggy Honda man using his Donington Park experience to make up for the hip injury he is still recuperating from to have a strong finish.Next came Guandalini Ducati’s Jakub Smrz with Ten Kate Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari rounding out the top 10.Haga’s teammate Michel Fabrizio, who started from the front row, slide all the way back to 12th at the finish.Jamie Hacking ended the race in 21st on the factory Kawasaki with Alstare Suzuki replacement rider Blake Young finishing 23rd in his World Superbike debut.

Race One

1.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha)

2.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

3.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducati)

4.                  Leon Haslam (Honda)

5.                  Shane Byrne (Ducati)

6.                  Shinya Nakano (Aprilia)

7.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

8.                  John Hopkins (Honda)

9.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

10.                  Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda)21. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)23. Blake Young (Suzuki)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.