Fabrizio Wins, Haga Leads Title Chase

Paul Carruthers | September 27, 2009

Michel Fabrizio completed a perfect day for the Xerox Ducati team in their home race at Imola, the Italian riding to victory over his teammate and race-one winner Noriyuki Haga. To make matters even better for the Italian squad, Haga’s second-place finish on a day when Ben Spies couldn’t muster more than a fifth, moved him into the World Superbike Championship points lead by three points.Haga started the day six points behind Spies, but now with just the two races at Magny Cours and the two races at Portimao in Portugal remaining, the Japanese rider has jumped back to the lead – albeit by just three points.Even though he ended up fifth in race two to go with his fourth in race one, it very nearly ended in tears for Spies as he was nearly taken out by Aprilia’s Max Biaggi on the 13th lap. At the time, Biaggi was in a battle with his teammate Marco Simoncelli and Spies for third when Biaggi went wide and took Spies off the track. He rejoined and would finish fifth.The battle for third between the Aprilia teammates would go to Simoncelli – in just his second-ever World Superbike race (he’d crashed out of race one earlier in the day). Biaggi was fourth with Spies fifth.Sixth place went to Ten Kate Hannspree Honda’s Jonathan Rea, the Brit ahead of countryman Shane Byrne on his Ducati. A third Brit, Leon Haslam, rode his Honda to eight. Ducati-mounted Jakub Smrz and Ten Kate Hannspree Honda’s Carlos Checa rounded out the top 10.

Race Two

1.                  Michel Fabrizio (Ducati)

2.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducat)

3.                  Marco Simoncelli (Aprilia)

4.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

5.                  Ben Spies (Yamaha)

6.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

7.                  Shane Byrne (Ducati)

8.                  Leon Haslam (Honda)

9.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

10.                  Carlos Checa (Honda)

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.