Spies Gets Ninth Pole

Cycle News Staff | July 25, 2009

Yamaha’s Ben Spies is poised to take over the World Superbike Championship points lead after taking his ninth pole in ten tries with the fastest lap in the Superpole session at the Brno Autodrom in the Czech Republic.Second in the second of three Superpole sessions, Spies went to the top with the second of his four laps in the final 12-minute session. His lap of 1:58.868 was off 1:58.345 that Troy Bayliss ran to take last year’s pole. But it was enough to put him on the pole for Sunday’s 19th and 20th World Superbike races.”We struggled early before making some adjustments to the front end,” Spies said. “This track has long, fast corners and you have to have a good feel for the front tire. Once we made the change I knew we were going to be strong.””For American fans I would compare it to Barber [Motorsport Park], but on a much larger scale. This track seems to be tailor-made for Superbike racing. It’s probably the most fun track I’ve ever raced. It has a lot of good parts to it. The good thing about it is the track seems to be an equalizer. It doesn’t favor one bike over another. All the different brands are going good here. I think it could make for some of the best racing of the season.”Spies heads into Sunday’s races with a 14 point deficit to championship leader Nori Haga (Xerox Ducati), the Japanese rider who could only manage the 14th fastest time and didn’t move into the final Superpole session. Haga continues to struggle with injuries, the most serious of which is a broken right forearm, suffered four weeks ago in the previous round at Donington Park and isn’t likely to be a threat on Sunday.”I’m focused on nothing but tomorrow’s races,” he said. “If we have a good weekend and things go our way maybe I’ll have some time to savor it Sunday night. Right now I can’t get ahead of myself.”Haga’s teammate Michel Fabrizio finished .082 secs. behind Spies and a tenth faster than Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, who’d led the first Superpole session as well as final qualifying. Biaggi didn’t improve his time in final qualifying, but still held on to the top spot.Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea fills out the front row.Sterilgarda Ducati’s Shane Byrne finished .047 behind Rea on the row two pole in front of the BMW’s of Troy Corser and Reuben Xaus, the first two riders over 2:00. Spies’ teammate Tom Sykes is at the end of row two.Stiggy Racing Honda’s John Hopkins didn’t improve his qualifying time. He made it into Superpole, but finished the session last and will start 20th on the grid.


1. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:58.868

2. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:58.950

3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:59.055

4. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:59.740

5. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:59.787

6. Troy Corser (BMW) 2:00.046

7. Reuben Xaus (BMW) 2:00.096

8. Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 2:00.240