World SBK racer interviews Magny-Cours

Noriyuki Haga Speaks… (2nd , 1st)

In Race 1 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 realized 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. Then, 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. I am also 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. Now we go to Portimao where Ben and I will fight for the 2009 title – I can’t wait."

Michel Fabrizio Speaks… (4th , 13th)

"Obviously I’m very disappointed by my results today; I hoped to do a lot better. In Race 1 I wasn’t able to catch the leading group and finished in fourth which isn’t bad but I would have liked to be on the podium. My bad start in the second race conditioned the outcome, I tried to catch up quickly so as not to lose the leaders as I’d done in Race 1 but unfortunately I messed up my braking at the end of the straight and lost the front. I am very sorry because I think I could have got past Spies, giving Nori a couple more points. My compliments go to Nori because he was very strong today and deserved the win."

Ben Spies Speaks… (1st, 4th)

"The whole first race had some good parts and bad ones. We made some small mistakes, costing us a tenth here and a tenth there letting the riders come back and not really taking advantage of the lead. I made a mistake on the last lap and let Nori through, so I had to get on the outside and get back past. Honestly I’m just super disappointed with the second race. We made a rear tyre choice which was neither better nor worse, but the front tyre we had on in the second race was hard to go at a pace with. I was consistently half a second off what we were doing in practice. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t finish in tenth with the way the bike felt. Even if we had won today we would still go to Portimao having to win both races so it doesn’t really change too much."

Max Biaggi Speaks… (3rd, 2nd)

"I give it my best but I saw that Ben could do high 38s in the warm-up and that was very difficult for us. During the first part of the race I pushed hard and had a good tyre, I was fast in some parts of the track but not in others. But overall I’m near maximum. Then I made a mistake when Nori came, I put a wrong gear and he overtook me, but overall Aprilia and myself made a very good race."

"I’m very happy and it was a very hard race. From the beginning everyone was fast, the top 4 or 5 were at a very similar pace. I had a good rhythm, I followed Nori, he looked very confident, I was wondering if he could keep the pace until the end and I got my answer because he was still lapping well. At the start of the race someone ran off the track and a big stone broke my window and I was worried that the radiator was broken. I started to push again and for me it was a good race."

Jonathan Rea Speaks… (DNF, 3rd)

All weekend we’ve had a good pace but it just seems that, come the first race, we couldn’t put it together. I’m really sorry for the team because I take a lot of the blame for that. It put me out of my rhythm and then I got a bit of arm pump towards the end of race two. I was running with the guys at the front until about five laps from the end because the package we had here was as strong as at Imola last week. We’ll regroup back at the workshop and come back strong for Portimao.

Carlos Checa Speaks… (6th, 9th)

Race one was not fantastic but sixth was acceptable after the problems we have had this weekend. In race two I lost 10 seconds at the start, trying to exit the first gear hairpin in second gear, and then I almost crashed at the last chicane. I got caught up in Fabrizio’s crash because I was trying to pass Sykes and then I saw the yellow flags. It was too late to do anything about it and I think Sykes crashed behind me, so I’m sorry for that. Afterwards, I just tried to find a good pace and finish as high as possible. The bike and the team are in good shape – I just didn’t have the right level of confidence this weekend.

Leon Haslam Speaks… (5th, 5th)

"We had a little problem in race one that held us back from the leaders. In race two, in the early part of the race, we had a lot better set-up. But after about lap six or seven the bike was surging a bit so I reset the electronics. A few minor things held us back from challenging for a podium or two but I am pretty happy to get a couple of fifths."

Leon Camier Speaks… (DNF, DNF)

"I used a different approach with the RSV4," said Camier, "which is quite different from the other bikes that I’ve driven up until now. These last few days I’ve managed to understand Aprilia’s potential; I changed my driving style and we worked a lot on the alignment, getting faster step by step, to the point that this morning during the warm-up I finished in fourth place with worn racing tyres that. I started off badly in Race 1, and during the initial laps I was slowed down by some falls. When I got my rhythm I caught up to the group that was fighting for sixth place, but then I had to stop because of a problem with the gas pump. I started off better in Race 2; I set a good pace and despite a few mistakes, I moved up to ninth place, but I had to pull out again due to an engine problem. It was a very positive debut for me, and I’m sure things will go better in Portimao." 

Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks… (DNF, DNS)

I am very disappointed because I think we showed that we had some pace on Friday morning. After the crash in the afternoon, I have been in pain for all the sessions but was not feeling too bad for the races today. I was trying to pass Shakey Byrne just before the last chicane, but I think I got a bit close and used too much brake. That was it and I am very sorry for my team and all the hard work they have done for me recently. I will go back to Japan now and have another operation and hopefully I will be OK for Portimao.

Tom Sykes Speaks… (DNF, DNF)

"race one I made a bit of a mistake, I went for the brake lever and it was just a touch further out than I normally have it so my initial brake pressure was really strong and I knew that, but I had a split second and I lost the front and couldn’t save it. It was a massive crash and I was lucky to get away with it. For race two we changed the rear tyre, which I wasn’t convinced was the right one but we went with anyway, unfortunately I was proved right and was struggling with it. Before I could do anything, going into the hairpin Carlos Checa made a big mistake and I got caught up in that and landed badly, pulling the muscles in my shoulder. Luckily nothing broken, so a weekend to forget, and I’m looking forward to something better in Portimao."