Noriyuki Haga can call himself a winner at Assen for the first time in nine years after scoring a win and a second place in the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship.

Another immensely successful day for the championship leader, four wins and four second place finishes so far this season mean Haga now holds a 60 point advantage over Ben Spies, who added a third non-finish to his tally today.

Haga's victory came in the second race of the day and went some way to making amends for the first race when Spies hunted down the Ducati Xerox rider and passed him with just three corners remaining.

Up to that point, Haga had battled back from a tardy start to snatch the lead on lap 13. However, as he began to fade just as Spies rediscovered some speed, he had no opportunity to respond to his rival's late offensive.

"It's been a great day for us and after nine years I have finally won again at Assen; I am very happy. In Race 1 I was a little disappointed to just lose out on the win on the very last lap but it was a great race. I set off strong but Spies and Haslam rode so hard today.

"First I had to push hard to catch Spies which was quite difficult as my bike was still not working perfectly and then to hold the lead was not easy either as the two of them were breathing down my neck."

Race two was more relaxing in comparison, Haga inheriting the lead at the end of the first lap when Spies crashed out before cruising to a 37th career WSBK victory.

"We changed the setting of the bike slightly for Race 2 and I was extremely comfortable on it. I'm sorry that Ben fell as I think we would have had another good battle but for me and my team it's been a very good day. I thank my engineer, my team, Ducati and the sponsors and now we head to Monza for the next challenge."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment