Spies takes dominant Monza pole

Ben Spies has claimed a fifth World Superbike Championship pole position at Monza, maintaining his perfect start to the season over a single lap.

Having allowed his rivals to set a relentless benchmark pace during the knockout phases, Spies was in unstoppable form around the high-speed Italian circuit when it mattered, his one and only quick lap putting him well clear of the competition.

Despite Spies' immaculate pace over a single lap so far this year, it was Michel Fabrizio that entered Superpole with the tag of favourite having topped nearly every session beforehand, while he was also the new lap record holder following Q2.

However, while the Italian's effort of 1min 44.270secs was the only lap to get remotely close to Spies, the American still came away with two tenths in hand – as well as eight tenths on Troy Bayliss' now decimated lap record.

Before Spies and Fabrizio, Ryuichi Kiyonari put in a surprise showing on the Ten Kate Honda to set a benchmark of 1min 44.642secs, the Japanese rider's single effort proving good enough to cling onto third – his first front row start since Donington Park 2008.

He will be joined at the head of the field by Suzuki's Max Neukirchner, who in turn made it four different manufacturers in the first four positions by edging out Noriyuki Haga.

Having already been forced onto the back foot in Q2 when he was made to put in a late lap just to reach the shootout, Haga briefly held fourth, only for Neukirchner to snatch it from him at the death.

Like team-mate Kiyonari, Jonathan Rea kept his running to a minimum, but his sole effort remained good enough for sixth position, ahead of Max Biaggi, who recovered from a tumble during Q2 to make the top eight and out-qualify Yukio Kagayama in seventh and eighth once there.

Off the front two rows, Carlos Checa will start in ninth position, ahead of a disappointed Tom Sykes, who could only manage tenth on the grid having run as high as second during provisional qualification.

Related Pictures

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Spies, Monza WSBK 2009
Spies, Monza WSBK 2009
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Spies, Monza WSBK 2009
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Ben's Pies - Unregistered

May 09, 2009 3:44 PM

"Do we still have any doubters out there ? Go Elbowz !" Yeah, I'm still a doubter. True, he's a decent rider and has got a grip of the Yam, but a 60 point deficit this early in the season says more than 5 consecutive poles. In my opinion, of course. He has pole consistency, but he needs the race consistency more.

Laterrus Talley

May 09, 2009 4:04 PM
Last Edited 2971 days ago

At Ben's Pies, yes it's a 60 point deficit but, keep in mind that Spies is a ROOKIE and he's still 2ND in this championship so far on a new bike, new tires, new surroundings and is still learning new tracks. There are alot of veterans in this championship right now (some of which have never been 2nd in points in WSBK) and Spies is spanking all of them except for Nori and he's consistently faster than Nori but, he needs to stop crashing. I'm sure Nori is a believer right now, especially after race 1 in Assen. There's alot of points left up for grabs. Let's see who gets them. If he hasn't made a believer out of you yet, there's nothing else he can do short of walking on water I suppose.

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