Having learnt the long complicated Brno track Yamaha World Superbike rider Ben Spies got down to business today in the second qualifying session. Spies speed was never on doubt and as the track knowledge increased so the lap times came down. He ended the session on the top spot a tenth of a second faster than nearest rival Max Biaggi although overall times put him in second behind the Italian.
Biaggi’s claim to the top spot was short-lived as Spies went straight out in the first Superpole session to score the fastest time, without using a Q tyre.
Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Ben Spies and Tom Sykes ventured out today for their first time on the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. Both riders spent the first free practice session learning the track layout and testing out the set up of their bike in advance of the afternoon’s qualifying session. Spies showed his usual flair for understanding a circuit in record time, ending the session in third position just two tenths off the leader Max Biaggi.
The World Superbike Championship has the Italian round of Imola back on the calendar this year so the teams have spent the last two days testing their machines there in preparation for the upcoming races on the 27th September. The track is new for both Ben Spies and Tom Sykes however it was clear from the two day test that neither the lack of track knowledge or the sweltering Italian sunshine was going to prevent them from displaying some serious pace. Day one saw Spies leading the field until the very end of the sessions where rive Fabrizio made a couple of extra tenths on fresh tyres.
Race one saw drama unfold as the World Superbike riders headed out for a wet race but were forced to change midway for slicks as the rain stopped and the sun broke out. Yamaha rider Ben Spies spent most of the wet heat in 4th tucked up behind rival Fabrizio as he paced himself on the damp track. He picked the ideal time to change to his dry bike on lap 13, emerging from the pits right behind Fabrizio, taking him swiftly for 8th position. Spies then displayed a typical Texan masterclass in racing, working swiftly up to take Xaus for the lead on lap 17, leading from there to the chequered flag.
Ben Spies made it an impressive five Superpole triumphs in five races with a blistering lap in the decisive qualifying session at the Autodromo di Monza. The Yamaha World Superbike team’s Texan rookie star, who received his Superpole trophy from Troy Bayliss, totally disintegrated the Australian champion’s previous record mark of 1’44.931 to clinch the pole with a time of 1 minute 44.073 seconds.
Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike), Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Ruben Xaus (BMW Motorrad), together with Dutch World Supersport contenders Barry Veneman (Hoegee Suzuki) and Arie Vos (Veidec Racing RES Software Honda) were the riders chosen for the World Superbike (WSBK) pre-race motorcycle racing media event for the fourth round.
Noriyuki Haga Speaks…