Victory spurs Haga on for title showdown

Noriyuki Haga says he cannot wait for the World Superbike Championship title showdown at Portimao after an eighth win and a second place saw him put ten points between himself and Ben Spies with just one round remaining.

Shrugging off a less than ideal starting position of fifth, Haga was made to work hard in race one after getting bottled up behind Max Biaggi in third for the majority of the race.

Following several attempts at trying to get past the Aprilia, it wasn't until lap 17 – six laps from the finish – that Haga dispatched of Biaggi for second position and set about hunting leader Spies down.

A series of record breaking laps would see Haga get to within half a second of Spies as they entered the final lap, although it was always going to take a mistake from the American to allow his rival a sniff at victory.

Remarkably, though, that is exactly what happened, Spies running wide at 180 to allow Haga to briefly scamper through. However, a better line on the exit of the bend allowed Spies to scramble back into the lead and take the win away from Haga.

Even so, despite missing out on the win, Haga insists it was an enjoyable fight right down to the chequered flag.

“In race one I really enjoyed myself, it was a fantastic race. I didn't make the best start and then it took a lot of laps before I was able to pass Max. Once I got past him I realised I didn't have many laps left in which to catch Ben.

“If I'd had just one extra lap, I think I'd have won. On the last lap I was waiting for Ben to make a mistake and when he did so, I managed to get up alongside him but unfortunately the next corner worked in his favour and he got past me.”

Race two proved less eventful, but more rewarding, for Haga after a good opening lap would see him snatch a lead he would maintain all the way to the finish line. Coupled to Spies' fourth place finish, it means he holds a ten point advantage in the standings with just Portimao remaining.

“In the second race, we made some small changes to my bike and they worked, giving me more confidence. This victory is truly a great result as we have regained a small advantage. Now we go to Portimao where Ben and I will fight for the 2009 title – I can't wait.”

In addition to his aiding his own title chances, Haga's victory in race two also meant he was able to give Ducati the manufacturers' title with one round remaining.

“I am extremely pleased that my results have awarded us the Constructors title. Thanks to Ducati and to my race engineer Ernesto Marinelli for giving me a great bike for Race 2; and to the whole Ducati Xerox team because my first year in Ducati is fantastic.”

Tagged as: Ducati , Xerox , Haga , superbikes , Ben Spies

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, Biaggi, Rea, Spies, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, Rea, Biaggi, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Biaggi, Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Biaggi, Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Biaggi, Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, First Lap, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Biaggi, Haga, Rea, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Haga, French WSBK Race 2 2009
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Spies, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2017
Spies, WSBK Race1, Misano WSBK 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Ronald Revsak

October 04, 2009 8:25 PM

This is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in recent years. With Nori just 10 points clear of Spies going into the final round it might prove to be a bit more than I can take, the tension is killing me!!! I'd love to see Spies (in his rookie year!) lift the trophy but I'm a long time Haga fan and it's Nori's turn to have it. Come on Haga!!! :D :D

jimmy - Unregistered

October 04, 2009 7:37 PM

Nori, fight, fight like never before! Prepare for extremely tough fight against Ben in Portimao but if you will lose by less than 5 points I will personally hang Fab by his balls.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.