Biaggi Takes Race One, Spies Knocked Down

Cycle News Staff | July 26, 2009

Yamaha’s Ben Spies lost ground in his quest for the World Superbike title after he was knocked down by an overzealous Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) in the first of two races in Brno, the Czech Republic.Hoping to capitalize on the pace of the injured Nori Haga, Fabrizio’s teammate, Spies was leading the race on the fifth of 20 laps when Fabrizio dived up the inside in the final corner, lost the front and sideswiped the Texan.Spies had a near highside, as he flew above his bike, and both riders ended up on the gravel, with Fabrizio running to Spies to apologize before he even stopped sliding. Spies hopped on his bike, waving Fabrizio away, but when he realized he couldn’t restart, he showed his displeasure with Fabrizio, as the Ducati man tried to show remorse.Meanwhile Aprilia’s Max Biaggi took over the lead and had 1.5 secs. on the next lap. The lead continued to grow and when Biaggi crossed the line with a 3.631 secs. cushion at the end of 20 laps, he’d given Aprilia their first win since Regis Laconi won at Imola in 2001.The Hannspree Ten Kate Hondas of Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea finished second and third respectively, six seconds apart.Brit Shane Byrne was the first privateer in fourth on the black Sterilgarda Ducati.BMW’s Troy Corser, who’d led the first two laps, faded to a lonely fifth. Teammate Ruben Xaus crashed spectacularly on the opening lap.Guandalini Racing’s Jakub Smrz, the hometown favorite, narrowly beat Stiggy Racing Honda’s Leon Haslam to the line, the pair leading a four-rider battle for sixth. Haslam’s teammate, John Hopkins, was off on lap 11 of 20, falling while tenth.Ducati Xerox’s Haga finished eighth. Combined with Spies’ non-finish, Haga increased his points lead from 14 to 22 after the first of today’s two races. Four championship rounds remain after this weekend.Mathieu Lagrive was a close ninth, with Makoto Tamada carding his best finish of the season in tenth.

Race One:

Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

2. Carlos Checa (Honda)

3. Jonathan Rea (Honda)

4. Shane Byrne (Ducati)

5. Troy Corser (BMW)

6. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

7. Leon Haslam (Honda)

8. Nori Haga (Ducati)

9. Mathieu Lagrive (Honda)

10. Makoto Tamada (Kawasaki)