2009 WSBK Qatar QP1 Result - A Texan Rampages Through The Desert

After Yamaha snatched provisional pole in the World Supersport qualifying, the factory put on a repeat in the first session of qualifying for World Superbikes. Rookie Ben Spies dominated the session, leading almost throughout, and confirming the Texan's form from Phillip Island. Ten Kate Honda have overcome their poor from from Australia, and their unhappy memories of last year, with Johnny Rea taking second place, ahead of team mate Carlos Checa in third, while Ryuichi Kiyonari, who was quick for most of the session, was eventually edged into 5th by Max Biaggi on the Aprilia.

The day was much less happy for Ducati. The factory team struggled all day, with Michel Fabrizio fastest in 8th, while Nori Haga is way down in 11th spot. Rubbing their noses in it are the two privateer bikes of Shakey Byrne and Jakub Smrz, both ahead of Fabrizio, while Haga also has Regis Laconi ahead of him.

Max Neukirchner, the man who tore up this morning's practice, finished the afternoon down in 13th, and well off the pace. He has a chance to redeem himself tomorrow, along with the rest of the field, when the twenty fastest riders go through to the afternoon's Superpole session.

119B. SpiesUSAYamaha YZF R11'58.886
265J. ReaGBRHonda CBR1000RR1'59.177
37C. ChecaESPHonda CBR1000RR1'59.731
43M. BiaggiITAAprilia RSV41'59.826
59R. KiyonariJPNHonda CBR1000RR1'59.937
667S. ByrneGBRDucati 1098R1'59.980
796J. SmrzCZEDucati 1098R2'00.024
884M. FabrizioITADucati 1098R2'00.101
955R. LaconiFRADucati 1098R2'00.232
1056S. NakanoJPNAprilia RSV42'00.238
1141N. HagaJPNDucati 1098R2'00.254
1266T. SykesGBRYamaha YZF R12'00.283
1376M. NeukirchnerGERSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K92'00.345
1444R. RolfoITAHonda CBR1000RR2'00.374
1571Y. KagayamaJPNSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K92'00.398
1611T. CorserAUSBMW S1000 RR2'00.455
17111R. XausESPBMW S1000 RR2'00.610
1823B. ParkesAUSKawasaki ZX 10R2'00.769
1991L. HaslamGBRHonda CBR1000RR2'00.799
20100M. TamadaJPNKawasaki ZX 10R2'01.222
2131K. MuggeridgeAUSSuzuki GSX-R 1000 K92'01.224
2233T. HillGBRHonda CBR1000RR2'01.336
2325D. SalomESPKawasaki ZX 10R2'01.464
2477V. IannuzzoITAHonda CBR1000RR2'01.560
2599L. ScassaITAKawasaki ZX 10R2'01.607
2624B. RobertsAUSDucati 1098R2'01.779
2786A. BadoviniITAKawasaki ZX 10R2'02.272
2815M. BaioccoITAKawasaki ZX 10R2'02.917


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That's incredible. Spies is more talented than anyone (myself definitely included) realized. Suzuki made a big mistake in letting him slip from their grasp.

Okay, so for all of you that have not seen Ben Spies the last three or four years. This is an indication that he is up to form and a formidable rider. In 2007 at Road Atlana Spies had a crash in the first race that caused the race to be red flagged and restarted. Per the rules Spies had to restart from last place on the grid.

It took him all of four laps to pass everyone but Matt Mladin.

While the racing was sometimes dull, you knew it was going to be Spies or Mladin in 1st and 2nd, the battles that they had were epic. You could see in race 2 at Phillip Island with the passes (and the patience that they often took) that Ben Spies does not get rattled. He may not win many more races but I am firmly convinced that Ben Spies will be a championship contender. I'd bet he and Haga are going to make for some of the best racing we've ever seen (i.e. Schwantz vs Rainey)

I have GOT to find a way to get to Miller this year.....

If and when Spies wins his second race, please take the following into account when you watch his podium interview: Texans are very reserved people; he may not make a fuss on the podium, but that doesn't mean that he isn't absolutely elated to have won.