WSBK: 2009 Monza test results

Spies the fastest once again

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 13, 2009
Yamaha rider Ben Spies set the pace in two days of World Superbike testing at Italy’s Monza Circuit, April 9-10.

As he has done on each circuit so far in his WSBK career, Spies has placed near the top of the timesheets during practices, qualifying and test sessions, often on tracks he had never ridden on before.

At Monza, Spies recorded at least ten consecutive laps on race tires with times faster than the top lap in the 2008 races, including the test’s top time of 1:45.3.

Following Spies on the timesheet were series leader Noriyuki Haga and his Ducati Xerox teammate Michel Fabrizio. Suzuki Alstare’s Max Neukirchner, who earned his first WSBK win at Monza in 2008, had the next fastest time while Spies’ teammate Tom Sykes was the only other rider to run under the 1:46 mark.

Spies’ results come within a week after a frustrating weekend at Spain’s Valencia Circuit that saw the American rider receive his first Did Not Finish result.

Ben Spies continues to impress in test sessions but trails Noriyuki Haga by 40 points.“The test was good, it was really good to come back and reset myself after Valencia as I was feeling really frustrated,” says Spies. “It was good to take a couple of days off, then come back fresh. We found a really good pace, and I loved Monza which is another new track for me. We also did half a race simulation, and got some really competitive times. I think we’ve got a good setup for the bike for when we come back here. Hopefully we’ll show up with a couple more tricks on the bike as well.”

Spies trails the veteran Haga by 40 points in the standings. Haga is going through the best stretch of his WSBK career with three wins and three runner-up finishes in six races.

“We tried yet another suspension setting but didn’t really find any improvement over what we had tried until now,” says Haga who won one of the two races at Monza in 2008. “However I am happy with my times, happy with my bike and happy with the tires we have tried during these two days.”

BMW’s Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser also took part in the test and ran well over a second off the leaders. Corser’s test was cut short due to a crash.

The 2009 WSBK season resumes April 26 at the Assen TT in the Netherlands before returning to the Monza Circuit May 5.

2009 World Superbike Championship Monza test top times
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Best lap
1st Ben Spies Yamaha YZF-R1 1:45.3
2nd Noriyuki Haga Ducati 1098R 1:45.5
3rd Michel Fabrizio Ducati 1098R 1:45.6
4th Max Neukirchner Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:45.8
5th Tom Sykes Yamaha YZF-R1 1:45.8
6th Max Neukirchner Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:46.0
7th Yukio Kagayama Ducati 1098R 1:46.3
8th Ruben Xaus BMW S1000RR 1:46.8
9th Troy Corser BMW S1000RR 1:47.1