Monday, June 29, 2009
WSBK Donington: Podium and Crashes for Aprilia
Max Biaggi started off well and was right behind the poleman Spies at the first curve, followed by Haga in third place. The three drivers had that something extra over their adversaries and they broke away from the pack, maintaining a pace that was just under the record set at the Bayliss track in 2007. After four laps, Haga began to lose ground and about halfway through the race he was losing one second per lap with respect to the pacesetters.
Spies continued to push ahead at a maniacal pace, but Biaggi didn’t budge at all, and recovered what he had lost on the final and slowest part of the track during the second part of the race, which was much more technical and had a faster pace. The two continued that way until Biaggi’s motorcycle suddenly died out at the last chicane due to a problem with the gas pump.
Fortunately, Max was able to restart his RSV4 and thanks to a lead of more than nine seconds on Haga, he still managed to finish the race in second place. The Roman driver and Noale’s four-stroke V cylinder motorcycle returned to the podium following the two third place finishes that were secured in Qatar, and a parenthesis surrounding the much discussed penalty in Race 1 at Monza.
Shinya Nakano finished in sixth place, at 21:286 behind Spies. The Japanese driver, who started off from fourth place, lost some ground at the beginning and fell behind the lead group. After recovering some ground thanks to a good rhythm, Shinya found himself battling Haslam and Byrne for fourth position. It was only during the final two laps that he lost a bit of ground against the two English drivers who were racing on their home turf.
Race 2 didn't went so well. During the second lap Nakano ran into in a frightening high side that fortunately didn’t result in any injuries. During the fourth lap Biaggi lost his front tyre at the first curve and slipped to the ground, but quickly got back on his bike and returned to the race. Upon re-entry, Max came into contact with one of his adversaries along the outer kerb and slipped back to twentieth place. During the crash, the Roman pilot ended up with a bruise and a minor injury to the third metatarsal of his right foot, but he still managed to finish the race in twentieth place. The degree of his injuries will not prevent Max from participating in the Aprilia’s private test run on the Brno track that is scheduled for July 1st and 2nd.