Sunday, 25 October 2009 19:08
Ben Spies (Yamaha World Superbike) won the first race and then controlled the situation in race 2 to take his and Yamaha's first ever World Superbike Championship title in front of an 86,000 crowd in the final round of the series at Portimao. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), points leader going into the decider, crashed out in race 1, making things easier for the Texan, who was fifth in the second race. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) took the win in race 2, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) were the other podium finishers.
Race 1 was dominated from start to finish by Spies, who took his fourteenth win of the season and overhauled Haga in the title chase. The Texan, who rocketed away from the line, comfortably held off any attempts at an attack from Biaggi, then upped his pace to go on to take a solitary chequered flag. With this result Spies now has a 15-point advantage over Haga, who lost the front and crashed on lap 7 while making up time in fifth place. The runner-up slot went to Rea, who got the better of Biaggi after a terrific duel. The best Ducati rider to the line in fourth place was Shane Byrne, in one of his best races of the year, while fifth went to Michel Fabrizio (Ducati), who compromised his race with a bad start. Leon Camier had a good run to sixth for Aprilia, while Ruben Xaus finished eighth on the first BMW. Both Suzukis failed to finish, Yukio Kagayama crashing out and Sylvain Guintoli was forced to retire.
Spies monitored Haga all the way in race 2 to take the fifth place that was enough to give him the 2009 title. The American only had to finish sixth, but he preferred to shy away from any direct confrontation and together with Haga's second place, the result gave him the title by six points. Fabrizio scored his third win of the season after a terrific scrap with Rea, who took the final podium slot, while Shane Byrne was again a protagonist of the race and finished fourth. Biaggi looked spectacular on the track, but the Italian made several errors and could only finish in sixth, while team-mate Leon Camier ran another convincing race in seventh, ahead of Smrz (Guandalini Ducati) and Corser (BMW), while this time both Suzuki riders Guintoli and Kagayama finished in the points.