Spies marks arrival with 'big bang'

Ben Spies went a long way to prove the hype surrounding him in 2009 isn't without reason as he joined an elite group of riders that have won a race on their World Superbike debut.

A day of two halves for the Texan, Spies endured a disastrous first race, but made amends in the second after coming out on top in a heated battle between himself and Noriyuki Haga.

His win, the first for an American since 2002, means he enters the history books as one of the few people to take a victory on their maiden weekend, while his win also signals a successful first outing for the uneven-firing, or 'big bang', Yamaha R1

Starting both races from pole position, Spies began his first ever WSBK race well when he slotted into third position heading into the second turn. However, when Max Biaggi ahead ran wide, Spies had nowhere to go but around the Aprilia and onto the grass.

Dropping towards the back of the field, Spies' misery was compounded when a problem for another rider further around the first lap caused him to clip Ruben Xaus and take another trip off the circuit.

Although Spies enjoyed a quick pace from then on, his fight back was only good enough for 16th, one position out of the points. Still, he was philosophical about his chaotic first WSBK racing lap.

“I just had to put that first race out of my mind,” Spies said. “It was no one's fault, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time in both incidents. It was frustrating because I knew I had the speed to run up front. Fortunately I had another race and it made me that much more determined.”

With another chance to make for victory from the top spot, Spies started race two well to snatch the lead from Biaggi at turn two, but immediately found himself under pressure from race one winner Haga, who was making another excellent getaway from 13th on the grid.

The Japanese rider assumed the lead on lap five and led for the majority of the way, despite a quick change of positions midway through the race when Spies edged through, only to make an error shortly afterwards.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Australian WSBK Race 2 2009
Girl, Misano WSBK 2017
Taylor, SSP300 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Empty Yamah garage,  Misano WSBK 2017
Yamaha pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Rinaldi, Faccani and Scheib, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani and Rinaldi, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Scheib, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani, Rinaldi and Scheib, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Rinaldi, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Scheib, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Faccani, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Marino, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Razgatlioglu and Tamburini, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017
Rinaldi, SSTK1000 Race, Misano WSBK 2017

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terrell bryant

March 01, 2009 3:45 PM

I don't understand why people keep taking shots at Maldin. Quite simply as he has stated in the past over and over what was the point of taking crap rides on the world scene with no chance of winning just so he could say that he did it? Look how many promising careers have ended with nothing to show for it by doing that. We all know talent doesn't gaurantee rides especially if you aren't the right age and don't have the right passport. So what is wrong with putting yourself in a position so that you can win instead of just riding around and making up numbers?

FooAtari .

March 01, 2009 1:10 PM

It was obvious speis was too good to stay in AMA. Mladin is quick and he Spies had the measure of him three years in a row. Taking pole and a fairly easy win in Race 2 on a new bike and new circuit shows he is a world class rider. There is no doubt he would have been challenging for the win in race 1 as well had he not go pushed out wide in the first race. I believe we also saw who the best British rider were, I've always rated Haslam and Rea as the best British, well after Toseland anyway who is seriously quick on a superbike. Great race, glad to see the rest of the teams have caught up with the questionable Ducati, should be a vintage year of racing.

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