Noriyuki Haga was satisfied to come away from the eighth round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano with his substantial lead in the standings largely intact after a quiet run to third and fifth.
Despite seeing Spies further eat into his advantage with victory in the opening race, compared to Haga's fifth place finish, the Japanese rider struck back in race two with a podium finish while his rival struggled with technical problems.
It means his lead at the end of the weekend has been reduced by just five points to 48 heading to the next round at Donington Park, an eventuality that the title favourite was otherwise content with.
“I am a bit disappointed with how race one turned out. While on the wet set-up I was having all kinds of problems with the rear tyre that was sliding all over the place compared to other riders out there so I lost some positions before I came in to change bikes.
“Then I went back out on an intermediate/slick tyre combination that was perhaps not so suitable because in the final laps I was finding it difficult to maintain my pace and couldn't push as I wanted to.
“Race two went much better, I got a great start but once Johnny, and then Michel, came past me it was hard to keep pace; maybe because they are so much younger than I am!
"Joking aside, I made good points all things considered, especially seeing as this has never been my favourite track, and now I'm looking forward to the next round at Donington where I've done well over the years.”
Meanwhile, Haga's third place finish – together with team-mate Michel Fabrizio's second and third place results – brings the Ducati Xerox team up to a historic 700th podium in World Superbikes.