Ben Spies made it a clean sweep at Donington today, blowing away the competition to take both races with decisive and well earned wins. Race one saw the American rider take an early lead, closely followed by Aprilia rider Max Biaggi. No matter how hard Biaggi tried he was unable to close the final gap to challenge Spies and settled for second at the flag. Race two saw Spies again take an early lead, repeating the performance of Miller as he gained nearly a second a lap as he pulled away until he had over a 7.4 second advantage. He ran a lonely race at the front to claim his second win of the day, a separate class to the following pack.
Team-mate Tom Sykes had a less than perfect start to the first of his home races.
Coming in hot to the hairpin on the ninth lap he braked hard over the bumpy surface and lost the front of the bike, crashing out. Race two saw a good start from the British rider who despite having issues with the front brakes managed to lay down consistent fast lap after lap, towards the end of the race he was the fastest man on the circuit and the only one to touch under the 1.32 mark in the closing stages. As others crashed out and Sykes rode faster he made it to fifth position at the flag.
After a serious crash ruled Haga out of race two, the day's wins brings Ben Spies up to 294 points in the championship, now just 14 points from the top. Tom Sykes takes 11 points from his second race, keeping him in seventh position, just 14 points from nearest rival Max Biaggi.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1st)
"it was a picture perfect weekend. It was a tough race, Max was there the whole time but we were able to do quick laps to stay ahead, the last three laps I rode as hard as I could just to make sure of the win. In the second race I knew Nori had a big crash and I hope he's ok. It's not the way we want to win it but you have to take the points when you can. It was a good second race for us though. The track was hot and a bit slick so we made some changes to the bike which made it better from race one. It was a good job for Leon, getting on the podium at his home round was great, I know how that feels. It was tough being out on my own, I had to focus lap to lap to make sure I didn't make any mistakes. I can't thank the Yamaha guys enough we changed a lot of things around and they came and delivered me two really good bikes to win on."
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (DNF, 5th)
"I found a good race setting in warm up this morning and was ready for the first race. I was very confident with my pace in the race but frustrated with my row three start. I was just breaking into a rhythm and unfortunately arrived into the last corner just a bit too hot and lost the front over the bumps, I couldn't believe it as it was my first DNF of the year so I was looking to improve in race two. I had big issues with a lack of braking which held me up. I'm really gutted as I think it cost me a podium, and capped off a bad weekend for the points. I really thought we could come away from the weekend in fifth. On the plus side I think we've seen some more of the old Tom Sykes this weekend, consistent in practice and qualifying and fast and consistent in race two. I'm hoping to take this to Brno and make it work there."
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
"Myself and the team want express our best wishes for Nori, we hope to see him back racing soon. The weekend has been really successful for us, a double win, Superpole and valuable championship points. We have reduced the gap down to 14 points. Ben rode incredibly well in both races, he was faultless all weekend in every session. Tom definitely got his confidence back on the bike which was really important for us, and only missed the podium by a few tenths of a second. We go to Imola now to learn the circuit and to prepare for the next race in Brno. A big thank you to the team who have worked very hard to make our weekend's racing success possible."