Spies makes history with Yamaha to claim first ever World Superbike victory

26.10.2009: Ben Spies and Yamaha made history today, claiming the first ever Word Superbike title for the Yamaha World Superbike Team. In yet another Ben Spies Masterclass of riding, The American rookie sensation took a race

Ben Spies and Yamaha made history today, claiming the first ever Word Superbike title for the Yamaha World Superbike Team.


In yet another Ben Spies Masterclass of riding, The American rookie sensation took a race win and a well executed fifth place finish to lift the title for Yamaha for the first time. Race one saw a textbook performance from Spies, taking the holeshot on the first corner and leading from the first lap.

Perfectly executed lines and smooth riding saw him cross the line nearly two seconds ahead of a determined Biaggi who had stalked him for the entire race. Championship rival Noriyuki Haga crashed out six laps into the race, leaving Spies some breathing room for race two.

With the extra points behind him and less pressure for an outright race win Spies kept himself in check for race two, monitoring Haga's position and keeping a steady race pace as he counted the laps down to victory. The American let a couple of riders passed then tucked in behind Biaggi for a number of laps. After the Italian rider ran wide a couple of times, Spies turned on some extra speed to pass him and brought his championship winning Yamaha R1 home in fifth place to take victory.

Spies can now claim 14 Superbike race wins and 11 pole position race starts in his rookie year, breaking all records since the championship began. He leads the standings with 462 points, six clear of rival Haga.

Yamaha World Superbike rider Tom Sykes unfortunately missed out on the last two races of the 2009 Championship. The British rider continues to struggle with an injury sustained to the Labrum in the shoulder socket following a collision with Carlos Checa at the previous round in Magny Cours. Sykes gave 100% effort in the early riding sessions of the weekend but struggled to cope with the very physical Portimao circuit. The Yamaha Superbike Team expressed disappointed not to have been able to end their one year relationship with Tom on a high note, but supported his decision not to ride, putting riders safety and health first.

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team, (1st, 5th)

" I've got to thank Yamaha for giving me the bike I need to win. We had a really good first race, in the second we did what we had to do to win. It was quite difficult to keep it in check as the pace was pretty fast, I saw I had a couple of people behind me and I knew that if Nori won I had to be in sixth and that's where I was so I tried to get a bit of a gap on them and stay out of trouble.

Max came through the inside of me and ran off a couple of times which really freaked me out so I went to get past him and then settled in for some nice fast laps to the end. It's been a spectacular day and I can't thank those people enough that have been behind me. It's been incredible to do it for Yamaha, and especially in my first year here. I don't think I really realize what's happening right now but I'm sure it's going to hit me in a couple of days!"

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team

"We came here this weekend aware of the injury but still looking to give it everything and end the season on a high. Unfortunately further x-rays yesterday at the Clinica Mobile revealed a potential crack in the bone which riding is aggravating further. I'm not able to ride to my best ability so unfortunately for my health needed to sit out the last two races. I'm very disappointed for the team as I wanted to repay them for the hard work they have put in for me all year."
 

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager

"I feel great! This is the first time I've had this victory feeling. I was so nervous for this whole weekend. Ben showed us that the speed he had was ok but I know Nori very well and Ducati as well so I was always worried that something was going to come. Fortunately we finished very well. I want to thank everyone, not just the people here in the team and Yamaha but the people at home, mine and the team's families, they give us a lot of support and are patient, I think it is hard for them to so thank you to my wife!"

Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe

"A fantastic day for Yamaha! Today was the crown of a year's hard work for Ben and the team. From the first moment we started to work with Ben it was clear he was something special. He did an amazing job in his rookie season, not knowing many of the circuits in Europe. This victory is also very well deserved for the team who have given 100%. I know how hard we have all been trying and coming close for such a long time. This championship success is a clear testimonial of the competitiveness of the new R1 and a validation of Yamaha's vision of production bike development and so is also shared with the engineers in Japan."


 
Circuit Length: 4692
Fastest Lap Ever: 1'42.412 (Ben Spies, 25/10/2009)
Last Years Winner: Troy Bayliss 
 

2009 WSB Portugal - Portim o 25/10/2009 Race 1


1 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 38'15.390
2 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0'01.697
3 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0'02.113
4 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0'02.757
5 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 0'14.753
6 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0'20.044
7 Carlos Checa Honda ESP 0'25.634
8 Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 0'31.104
9 Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 0'36.689
10 Matteo Baiocco Kawasaki ITA 0'39.331
11 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 0'41.827
12 Makoto Tamada Kawasaki JPN 0'41.882
13 David Salom Kawasaki ESP 0'54.967
14 David Checa Yamaha ESP 1'38.533


Race 2

1 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 38'19.654
2 Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 0'01.195
3 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0'01.494
4 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 0'05.553
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 0'05.842
6 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0'07.374
7 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0'09.658
8 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0'10.434
9 Troy Corser BMW AUS 0'17.010
10 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki FRA 0'24.509
11 Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 0'27.195
12 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 0'34.825
13 Matthieu Lagrive Honda FRA 0'35.135
14 Luca Scassa Kawasaki ITA 1'01.842
15 David Checa Yamaha ESP 1'09.782

Best Lap Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 1'43.529


Rider Standings 25/10/2009

1. Ben Spies Yamaha USA 462
2. Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 456
3. Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 382
4. Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 319
5. Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 315
6. Leon Haslam Honda GBR 241
7. Carlos Checa Honda ESP 209
8. Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 192
9. Tom Sykes Yamaha GBR 176
10. Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 169
11. Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda JPN 141
12. Yukio Kagayama Suzuki JPN 128
13. Troy Corser BMW AUS 96
14. Shinya Nakano Aprilia JPN 86
15. Regis Laconi Ducati FRA 77
31. James Ellison Yamaha GBR 8
37. David Checa Yamaha ESP 4

Manufacturer Standings 25/10/2009

1. Ducati 572
2. Yamaha 505
3. Honda 431
4. Aprilia 329
5. Suzuki 173
6. BMW 141
7. Kawasaki 79


- Yamaha Amsterdam -

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26.10.2009 / MaP

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