Yamaha Italia's Noriyuki Haga took a last minute race win from Alstare Corona Extra Suzuki's Max Biaggi during race two at Donington Park.
Biaggi had been leading for the final eight laps but he ran a touch wide on the final corner on the last lap, Haga wasn't going to miss an opportunity for a race win, so he shoved his Yamaha under Biaggi and out dragged him to the line.
Biaggi's team manger Francis Batta had predicted a race win for his rider and he was almost right. The Italian was pipped over the line by just 0.111secs.
Third place went to Haga's team-mate Troy Corser giving Yamaha an impressive double podium on their new bike.
James Toseland was bitterly disappointed to suffer a mechanical failure whilst leading race two. “To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. That double win has eluded me once again. I felt confident about winning the second race, but unfortunately as I was shifting down through the gears into Redgate I felt a problem with the engine, which caused it to cease. I don't know what the problem was but it was definitely mechanical and it meant that I was unable to continue,” said the frustrated Brit, “This is as disappointing for the fans as it is for me and I'm sorry that I was unable to give then a better result.”
Despite not finishing race two Toseland is still leading the championship by five points over Biaggi.
Speaking after the race Corser said, “I'm pretty happy with the R1, we made a change to the rear shock for race two and we got away a lot better. I almost took James Toseland out when he had that problem. I was getting oil on my visor from James' bike, I was wondering where it was coming from.” The new R1 is working well and Corser is pleased with how things are progressing, “I'm happy with two podiums the R1 worked well and we have got up to speed. I'm having a great time with Yamaha and it is good to be back at Donington.”
Despite the disappointment of losing out on the race win Biaggi was still smiling as he enjoyed the race, “Nice race pace compared to race one as it was faster. I was running high 31s for many laps. The sunshine today helped the tyres but it was very windy at turn one. I try to push but Nori was on my back, I make a mistake on the last corner, it shouldn't happen but it did.” Since making the move away from MotoGP the Roman Emperor is much more relaxed as he went on to explain, “I think here the pressure of the race is the same, put on helmet and there is pressure to race. The things that surround racing here are more human. I don't want to say anything bad about MotoGP as I was there for a long time but there if you move one finger it was in the papers. I like racing and I was out for one year, but I did motocross and supermoto, I was happy but not that much. I want to enjoy racing.”
As part of his victory celebrations Haga donned a multi coloured curly wig and sparkly bow tie. “All work very well. I have disappointment for the first race, my rear tyre no work well. Second race was fun result. Today is my Papa's Birthday and before second race I think winning. Now for me everything is perfect,” he said.
Off the line it was Haga who got away first but Toseland wanted the lead and took it off Haga on lap one. Corser was following his team-mate closely in third place with Laconi in fourth and Biaggi in fifth.
Biaggi wasted no time in passing Laconi and started chasing down the leaders. It was on lap three that Toseland's bike failed and he had to abruptly pull off the track, with a couple of other riders narrowly missing him. This handed the lead to Haga, who two laps later was relegated to second place by his team-mate. Biaggi started battling with Haga at the Melbourne loop but ran wide and couldn't make his move stick.
Haga moved back into the lead taking Corser at the Esses, Biaggi was still on a charge and moved up to second place on lap nine. By lap thirteen he had taken the lead at the Esses and remained there under extreme pressure from Haga. On the final turn Biaggi ran a little wide and gave the win to Haga.
British rider Dean Ellison retired from race two just a few laps in; all in all it has been a disappointing weekend for him in front of his home crowd. Fellow Brit Aaron Zanotti had a steady run and was pleased to finish both races despite a crash in warm-up.
WSBK race (2) results – Donington Park:
1. Noriyuki Haga
2. Max Biaggi
3. Troy Corser
5. Ruben Xaus
4. Lorenzo Lanzi
6. Regis Laconi
7. Roberto Rolfo
8. Jakub Smrz
9. Karl Muggeridge
10. Max Neukirchner