Ben Spies heads into the summer break just seven points behind Noriyuki Haga
in the World Superbike standings after resisting a late charge by Max Biaggi
to win the second race at Brno.
Spies led to the chequered flag from the second turn, but not before a breathtaking final few laps as he and Biaggi disputed the lead, the American putting on a display of precision riding to not allow his rival an opportunity to pass.
Going a long way to making up for his retirement in race one at the hands of Michel Fabrizio, Spies is now just a handful of points behind Noriyuki Haga. Even so, the margin could have been smaller but for Haga's outstanding determination to finish in sixth position.
Spies was in charge of the race from early on, taking just one corner to dispatch of Troy Corser, the BMW man once again getting the run down into the first turn from sixth on the grid to briefly lead.
Spies was promptly followed by Fabrizio and Biaggi and, as expected, the trio quickly began asserting their authority over the competition.
Although an error by Fabrizio early on in the race allowed Spies an advantage, both he and countryman Biaggi continued to keep the leader honest, eventually reducing the gap so that all three riders were covered by less than a second.
However, Spies' cause was being aided by Biaggi's persistent attempts to overtake Fabrizio. Indeed, while the Aprilia appeared to have an advantage over the Ducati in a straight line, Biaggi was evidently having problems getting the bike stopped in time to complete the manoeuvre.
It meant Biaggi managed to overtake Fabrizio on four occasions, only for his rival to coolly sweep back through when he promptly ran wide.
After several laps of harassment, though, Biaggi finally made his move stick with five laps to go. Immediately setting the fastest lap of the race, Biaggi quickly latched onto the back of Spies and began his assault on the Yamaha man.