World SBK Nurburgring: Ben Spies leaps into the championship lead

World SBK Nurburgring: Ben Spies leaps into the championship lead

The Nurburgring GP circuit was witness to an incredible performance from Yamaha World Superbike rider Ben Spies today as he attacked the track to take the championship lead from rival Haga. Race one started well for the American but was almost immediately red flagged for a crash between Tamada, Hopkins and Parkes. The restart saw Spies move up into third behind Rea and Haga until the third lap where he took Rea on the brakes to move into second position. Rea briefly retook the position but held it for mere seconds before relinquishing again to the American missile. Spies then set about reeling in Haga, taking nearly half a second a lap off the Ducati rider's lead until he had closed it to 0.3 seconds by lap 10.

As they entered the chicane at the end of the lap, he pulled a swift move and took the lead, which he held to the line, throwing in an extra turn of speed at the end to increase his lead.

Race two saw a less than perfect start with Spies dropping to sixth amid a pack of riders. He fought through the pack to fourth, and gradually worked through to third behind Rea and Haga. Rea and Haga came together going into the first corner of lap four, taking Haga out of the race and leaving Ben to tuck in behind Rea to the finish line, taking second spot on the podium.

Ben Spies heads to Imola in two weeks time having taken the lead in the World Superbike Championship with an 18 point advantage over demoted Haga with six races remaining. Team mate Tom Sykes leaves Germany sitting in eighth place in the standings just 12 points behind seventh position rider Carlos Checa.

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 2nd)
"the first race was tough, Rea and I battled a bit for the first couple of laps and Nori got away so I had to reel him back in, using a lot of my tyre to do that. When I got to him I knew he was really strong in the first few corners so I slowed the pace a bit and controlled him through there. With three laps to go we pulled the pin and got back down to some fast laps. The second race was a tough one, I didn't get a great start and had to spend some time working through the pack, when I eventually got up to Rea he had a great pace on so I tucked in and was waiting for him to make a mistake, which unfortunately he didn't! I used up a lot of my tyres fighting through the pack and was starting to slide around a bit at the end so tucked in and took the points. It's fantastic to be leading the championship, it's what we came here to do, so we're looking forward to getting to Imola and seeing if we can build on this. The team have been brilliant, and have worked really hard all weekend."

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