Haga a winner again as he lords the 'Ring
5 September 2010
Noriyuki Haga is celebrating his first World Superbike Championship win in almost five months after a confident performance in race two at the Nurburgring.
The Japanese rider put a fall from second place in the opening race firmly behind him as he fought his way into the lead on lap four and didn't look back.
Haga's cause was aided by Carlos Checa crashing out whilst pressuring for the lead, though he still had to contend with the attentions of race one winner Jonathan Rea.
Nonetheless, the Northern Irishman would eventually fade as Haga pushed on, last year's runner-up crossing the line for only his second win of the season, his first since Valencia back in April.
The start of the race was a tidy affair, the riders jostling through the tight first corner hairpin, the pack emerging with Checa in front, ahead of Haga, Rea, Max Biaggi and Tom Sykes.
However, it soon became evident that the winner would come from the top three riders as they stretched away from the chasing pack, Checa, Haga and Rea covered by less than a second.
Just as he did in the first, however, Haga would find his way past Checa on lap four, the Spaniard running wide on the exit of turn one to allow Haga through around the outside of turn two.
While Haga's lead did nothing to keep Checa off his tail, he would receive a boost when the Althea rider made an uncharacteristic mistake on lap nine and crashed out of the position.
Putting a small margin between Haga and Rea, the Northern Irishman attempted to bridge the gap but was never able to fully get onto the tail of his rival, the Japanese rider streaking away to win by a clear three seconds.
Rea crossed the line second to record the highest points' haul of the day, the Ten Kate Honda rider capitalising on Checa's accident to also put a healthy margin between himself and the Ducati man in the fight for third overall.
The battle for the final spot on the podium proved to rather more intense as Haslam, despite damaging ligaments in his knee with his race one accident and nursing injuries to his arm and hand, fought his way up to third position at the expense of Crutchlow and Biaggi.
Although Crutchlow maintained close contact with Haslam after he overtook on lap seven, he was never able to find a way past, the Suzuki rider recording a remarkable result given the extent of his injuries.
Crutchlow in turn held off Biaggi, who never recovered from a wide moment through turn one on seven, the champion-elect settling for fifth after being forced to resist Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman unable to make his front row start count when he made a poor start.
Despite finishing behind Haslam, Biaggi still carries a 58 point advantage with only 100 points left to play for at Imola and Magny-Cours.
Further back, Tom Sykes completed his best race day with Kawasaki yet with a run to seventh place, the Briton comfortably out pacing the chasing pack of James Toseland, Ruben Xaus and Shane Byrne who rounded out the top ten.
Unlike race one, retirements were kept to a minimum as only Checa and Ian Lowry would fail to finish, though Michel Fabrizio suffered his second non-score after tyre problems necessitated a pit-stop.