Two riders who haven’t tasted victory in a while were on top Sunday, as Jonathan Rea and Noriyuki Haga each won at Nurburgring, Round 12 of the 2010 World Superbike Championship.
The Ten Kate Honda rider’s win during Race 1 makes for three victories this year.
Jonathan Rea says: “We were really behind the 8-ball on Friday but did a lot of work that night and came back yesterday with a bike we could challenge with. We managed to turn that into a win in the first race today by making a break at the front and controlling the race, so all credit has to go to the crew for turning things around.”
“Nori was really fast in the second race so I’m really happy with a one-two and really think that was probably the maximum points I could get today. It was a lap of two halves really and I while I was weak in the first two splits the last two were really strong. Although I could gain a little bit there, I’d just got dropped a little bit at the start and I lost my rhythm a bit when Checa went down. But I’m really happy – I’m enjoying riding the bike and it’s fun to turn up to a racetrack and just ride the CBR. If you’d offered me a one-two on Friday I would have snapped your hand off.”
After winning race 2, it was the second time Haga placed his Ducati Xerox 1198 in first. Haga’s win comes after Ducati reported last week that it is pulling all of the factory efforts in World Superbike.
Noriyuki Haga says: “First of all I want to say how happy I am to be back up here. After the Race 1 crash I went straight back to the garage in the hope that my technicians could adjust the bike so that I could continue but unfortunately there was too much damage to the mufflers and I had to stop there. We made some modifications to the front suspension and the bike behaved a lot better in Race 2. I maintained a strong pace for the entire race and was able to get the job done! I’m sorry for Carlos because it’s always great to battle against him. Now I’d like to repeat this great result at Imola, Ducati’s home track.”
Aprilia Alitalia Max Biaggi didn’t have luck in Nurburgring, the Italian finishing 4-5. But the finishes were positive enough to keep him 58 points ahead of the brit in second in the championship, Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam.
WSBK says Rea took an early lead in the re-started first race, and rode at full pace to lead Carlos Checa home and record his fourth win of the 2010 season. Third place went to Yamaha Sterilgarda rider Cal Crutchlow, ten seconds back on Rea. Championship leader Max Biaggi was fourth, and Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes was a more than creditable fifth. Leon Haslam, one of the riders involved in the crash that caused the race to be stopped and then completely re-run, was sixth. Ruben Xaus was first BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider home in Germany, seventh.
Jonathan Rea says: “A great race and a great weekend for the team. Already on Friday we were right on the pace, we came out with a bike that was good, really pushed hard, I felt comfortable on it and turned it into a good result so I’m really proud of my team.”
Carlos Checa says: “We had a good start and fought with Haga who then fell in front of me. Then I tried to follow Jonathan but he was very strong and nothing happened to the end. We did our best and are quite satisfied with the pace and the work we did this weekend.”
Cal Crutchlow says: “Nice to be back up here. Tenth on the grid is not so good into the first corner but I did the best job I could for Yamaha Sterilgarda. I thought right through that third place on this track is incredible for our bike and it was going to be difficult.”
World Superbike, Nurburgring Race 1 Results (with Pirelli front/rear race tire selection): 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 38’42.640 (159,243 kph) (C/A); 2. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1.126 (A/A); 3. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 10.006 (C/A); 4.Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 10.716 (B/C); 5. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 17.391 (C/A); 6. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 19.301 (A/C); 7. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 19.613 (B/C); 8. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 19.880 (A/C); 9. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 21.176 (C/A); 10. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 29.752 (B/A); 11. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 30.156 (A/C); 12. Lowry I. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 53.622 (B/C); 13. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 58.820 (B/A); 14. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’25.906 (A/A)
WSBK says Haga, a race one faller, was an impressive winner of race two, the Japanese rider shining strongly in the German sunshine. He was an eventual 3.061 seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea. Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) rode through the pain barrier to go third, with Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) ending up fourth. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) managed to keep Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) behind him at the flag for fifth, in a tense 20-lap race for the championship’s top men.
Noriyuki Haga says: “I’m very happy with this result and very sorry for the first race. When I had a crash, I wasn’t getting information from the front tyre and for race 2 I made just a little modification for the front suspension and that was working much better. I was able to keep a high pace until the flag. Next round is Imola, our home track and I have much pressure but I hope to do my best.”
Jonathan Rea says: “The pace was similar to race 1 but Nori was fantastic, he rode an unbelievable race. It’s quite frustrating when you see someone ride away from you like that. A great job for my team this weekend, 45 points overall and I’m really very happy. I’m very consistent now but it’s so frustrating when I see my mid-season form.”
Leon Haslam says: “Race 1 was a bit frustrating, it was completely my fault when I high-sided and Troy had nowhere to go, so luckily the race was red-flagged. In the second race, I only had one bike but the boys did a great job and the Clinica did a fantastic job with my knee and my thumb so thanks to them. Getting on the podium is not exactly what I wanted but we’ll take it this weekend. Anything can happen, there are four more races still to go so roll on Imola!”
World Superbike, Nurburgring Race 2 Results (with front/rear race tire selection): 1.Haga N. (JPN)Ducati 1098R 8’43.565 (159,18 kph); 2.Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 3.061; 3. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 8.060; 4.Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 8.457; 5. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 9.392; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.556; 7. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 16.819; 8. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 20.564; 9.Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 21.040; 10. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 21.168; 11.Smrz J. (CZE) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 21.734; 12.Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 22.746; 13.Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 24.526; 14. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 28.218; 15. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 38.406; 16. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’08.039; 17. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’21.294; 18. Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1’21.362; 19. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1’38.427
All riders on same solutions with the exception of Guintoli and Lanzi who changed to the “A” rear and Hayden who changed to the “C” rear for Race 2.
World Superbike Points (after 11 of 13 rounds): 1. Biaggi 397; 2. Haslam 339; 3. Rea 288; 4. Checa 224; 5. Crutchlow 217; 6. Haga 202; 7. Toseland 187; 8. Guintoli 69; 9. Camier 164; 10. Fabrizio 160. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 409; 2. Suzuki 360; 3. Ducati 342; 4.Honda 299; 5.Yamaha 285; 6. BMW 190; 7. Kawasaki 77