2009 WSB Imola Rider Comment

Found out who blamed who in this week's WSB rider comment

HERE'S WHAT the top riders had to say following the epic two-race battle at Imola World Superbikes:Imoa

Noriyuki Haga - Ducati - 1st, 2nd

“It’s great to have won again, having not been in this position since Kyalami and having had some tough rounds after the Donington accident. It was a very long race, I thought it would never end, and with all that happened, I don’t even remember when I overtook Max! Over this weekend we have gradually improved and I am especially happy with the result because my father has travelled to Europe for the first time to see me race. For Race 2 I unfortunately had to go out on the second bike as we had problems with the first and we couldn’t get it fixed in time. It was a hard race and I am very tired at the end of it all. Congratulations to Michel in Race 2 of course and also to Marco (Simoncelli) and thanks to my engineer Ernesto, to my team and to Ducati. We are now back in the lead with a three point advantage but there are still four races to go so there’s still a fight ahead. We need the best possible bike for Magny-Cours and Portimao!”

Michel Fabrizio - Ducati - 3rd, 1st

“What races! I really wanted a win today so I am extremely happy. In Race 1 the problem was that after just a few laps I was having problems with my left arm and it was hard to change gear, I had kind of cramps in my hand. By the end I was really hanging on by two fingers with no feeling in my arm. So all things considered third place was a good result. After the first race I got my trainer to do some work on my arm and it obviously did the trick because it wasn’t a problem in Race 2, and when I got past Noriyuki I knew I could win. I’m happy also for my son, who is here and always asks me why I don’t win more! Thanks to the whole team, to my trainer Leigh “Rok” Bryan, to Ducati, to Xerox and to the spectators who have been amazing this weekend. All of Ducati’s top management were here today too so I hope that our results demonstrate that Nori and me deserve to have had our contracts renewed for next year.”

Max Biaggi - Aprilia - 2nd, 4th

“When I took off, I immediately tried to stay with the Ducatis, which immediately set the pace, so in order to recover about halfway through the race I made two mistakes that resulted in me losing a great deal of the advantage I had accumulated, so in order to do better, I did worse. I wasn’t expecting Simoncelli to enter and in order to not hit the wall or Spies, we had to do some manoeuvring to stay up. In any case, it was a very positive week-end, I would have never hoped to have recovered so many points on Rea in the world championships, considering he was always so fast both in the test runs and the trials. I would also like to compliment Simoncelli who was very good, especially in Race 2.”

Marco Simoncelli - Aprilia - DNF, 3rd

“It was a wonderful and very intense week. It was just Monday evening that I decided to participate in this SBK race and the results were excellent. When I arrived here at Imola, my objective was to enter the Top 5 in Race 1, which I managed to do until the fall at the Tosa. In Race 2 I started off much better and I set a good pace until catching up with Biaggi. I didn’t want to make the pass I did at the Variante Bassa, but I ended up long in the straightaway and in order to not end up in the gravel I took the chicane the same way and it ended up fine. I must thank my Superbike team, that 250cc and Aprilia, for the help they provided and the great opportunity that they gave me.”

Ben Spies - Yamaha - 4th, 5th

“In race one we ruined our chances with the electronic side of the bike, we didn’t have enough power coming out of the bike and we struggled with grip a bit as well, it was a rough race. The second race we had the pace for sure to battle for the lead but a combination of things held us up. Rea got pretty greedy early in the race, passing me in the gravel trap three different times. I felt bad for him as I knew he had the pace to run up front but you’ve got to know when to calm down and when to take it easy for a couple of laps and let the race come in, you can’t push on every corner. I had a couple of laps where I wasn’t riding well at all then I got myself together and caught up to Simoncelli and Biaggi. They bumped and Biaggi ran off the track, when he came back on it was either hit him or go off into the gravel. I got back on and caught up to Bryne and then almost ran into the back of him and had to run off the track again. It was a messy race. There were a lot of mistakes, a couple from me and some from others. If you would have told me after the first race that we would only be losing the championship by three points I’d be happy because there were a lot of guys who could beat me this weekend.”

Tom Sykes - Yamaha - 9th, 12th

“I had a good start in race one but still struggled for grip as we have been all weekend with the rear of the bike. We improved it a bit for warm up this morning but in the race I still struggled. We made a change for race two but I got a bad start. The bike felt faster and more consistent though but unfortunately I kept getting caught up by a few riders cutting the chicane and I ended up losing a second here and there. Towards the end I had one lap where I was having huge slides so I was looking back at the tyre to see if there was anything on it and lost maybe two and a half seconds.”