Haga’s Back

Cycle News Staff | September 5, 2009

Ducati Xerox’s Nori Haga took his first pole position of the year in the Nurburgring round of the World Superbike Championship, six weeks after suffering serious injuries at Donington Park in England.Haga has seen his points lead over Yamaha’s Ben Spies dwindle to seven points since crashing at Donington Park. The day after the crash, Haga underwent surgery to stabilize his right forearm with a plate and screws. He also damaged his right shoulder blade and suffered multiple fractures to his left scapula. Haga scored no points in the second race at Donington and finished eighth and six a month later in Brno.Now almost fully recovered, the Japanese rider on the Italian bike led all three Superpole sessions after earlier topping final qualifying. His lap of 1:55.489 mins. bested second fastest Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) by .26 secs. to take his seventh career Superpole.The rest of the front row is Stiggy Racing Honda’s Leon Haslam and the second Ducati Xerox machine of Michel Fabrizio.Spies qualified fifth fastest, just .009 secs. off the front row a day after re-signing with Yamaha for two more years. He’ll remain in World Superbike in 2010 and move to a satellite Yamaha MotoGP team in 2011. His day was marred by a crash in the free practice between final qualifying and Superpole.Second to Haga in final qualifying, Spies was again second in the first Superpole session, third in the second one, and fifth overall.BMW’s Troy Corser qualified sixth in Superpole, ahead of Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Carlos Checa.


1. Nori Haga (Ducati) 1:55.489

2. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:55.749

3. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:55.776

4. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:55.927

5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:55.938

6. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:56.296

7. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1:56.440

8. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1:56.699