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A DOUBLE FOR SPIES

Author: -
Posted on: Saturday, Mar 14 2009



The 24-year-old American had already secured pole position and a fastest-ever circuit of the Losail track before sweeping to a pair of impressive wins on Saturday.

Veteran duo Noriyuki Haga and four-time champion Max Biaggi were forced to settle for second and third respectively in both races, as they were left in the wake of Spies' Yamaha. Spies was most impressive in race two when he quickly opened a gap on his more experienced rivals before producing a nerveless display out front to cross 1.274 seconds ahead of Haga.

The American's stock is quickly rising after he also claimed victory in race two at Phillip Island in the previous round and could perhaps have won all four races this season but for being run wide in the season opener. Despite his maximum haul this weekend Spies is 10 points behind Haga at the top of the overall standings.

"In the first race we lacked a little bit of acceleration but I put my head down and was able to catch Noriyuki. He has set a really good pace," Spies said afterwards.

"The second race was better for me. I was just able to get my head down. I felt relaxed.

"It's hard though to make points up on Haga at the moment as he keeps finishing second."

Haga admitted it had been a tough day at the office, and is already feeling the pressure from his junior rival in Spies.

"I am very, very tired but I enjoyed the race," he said.

"I tried to push Ben but he is 10 years younger than me, maybe that is why I lost to him."


Race one result:

1 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 36mins 06.304secs,
2 Noriyuki Haga (Jpn) Ducati 36:08.197,
3 Max Biaggi (Ita) Aprilia 36:08.472,
4 Shinya Nakano (Jpn) Aprilia 36:18.365,
5 Carlos Checa (Spa) Honda 36:18.901,
6 Shane Byrne (Gbr) Ducati 36:19.275,
7 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Yamaha 36:19.874,
8 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Jpn) Honda 36:25.610,
9 Troy Corser (Aus) BMW 36:25.692,
10 Regis Laconi (Fra) Ducati 36:27.285,
11 Leon Haslam (Gbr) Honda 36:27.468,
12 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Honda 36:28.298,
13 Ruben Xaus (Spa) BMW 36:29.221,
14 Broc Parkes (Aus) Kawasaki 36:33.522,
15 Tommy Hill (Gbr) Honda 36:37.906

Race two result:

1 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 36mins 02.126secs,
2 Noriyuki Haga (Jpn) Ducati 36:03.400,
3 Max Biaggi (Ita) Aprilia 36:03.748,
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari (Jpn) Honda 36:03.971,
5 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Yamaha 36:07.243,
6 Max Neukirchner (Ger) Suzuki 36:11.638,
7 Shinya Nakano (Jpn) Aprilia 36:11.640,
8 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Honda 36:14.747,
9 Troy Corser (Aus) BMW 36:15.968,
10 Ruben Xaus (Spa) BMW 36:16.010,
11 Leon Haslam (Gbr) Honda 36:16.014,
12 Shane Byrne (Gbr) Ducati 36:17.039,
13 Carlos Checa (Spa) Honda 36:17.888,
14 Regis Laconi (Fra) Ducati 36:18.046,
15 Yukio Kagayama (Jpn) Suzuki 36:21.691

Riders' standings:
1 Noriyuki Haga (Jpn) Ducati 85pts,
2 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha 75,
3 Max Neukirchner (Ger) Suzuki 40,
4 Max Biaggi (Ita) Aprilia 38,
5 Leon Haslam (Gbr) Honda 36,
6 Tom Sykes (Gbr) Yamaha 32,
7 Regis Laconi (Fra) Ducati 30,
7 Jonathan Rea (Gbr) Honda 30,
9 Shinya Nakano (Jpn) Aprilia 27,
10 Yukio Kagayama (Jpn) Suzuki 25

Manufacturers' standings:

1 Ducati 85pts,
2 Yamaha 81,
3 Honda 51,
4 Aprilia 41,
5 Suzuki 40,
6 BMW 27,
7 Kawasaki 2


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