The temperature dropped for Race 2 of the South African Superbike round. The numerous spectators who came to Kyalami participated in a grand show with great warmth. Haga makes it a double win, at his sixth victory of the season, hounded right down to the last turn by his team mate Fabrizio and Rea, third, on the Honda at a gap of 8"936.
Haga started off fast followed by Spies and Biaggi. The Japanese and the American try to begin the chase straight off, but in the third lap Spies breaks his gear shifter and is forced to pull out. From behind the fight for the podium heats up with Fabrizio, starting off badly, recovering positions, together with Rea, Biaggi and Haslam trying to catch up the leader. But the Ducati rider is keeping another pace and at the halfway point he manages to join his team mate and stay with him straight through to the final push. So only three are left to battle for the third step of the podium. Rea leads the pack, managing to fend off Biaggi's attacks with Haslam awaiting the right moment, which arrives in the thirteenth lap when he slips the RSV4 past with an impossible manoeuvre. The situation did not change until four laps from the end when Rea increased his advantage slightly; Haslam isn't able to respond as he tries to hold off Biaggi's continuous attacks, defending fourth position until the finish, while Max is unable to slipstream past him, finishing with the same position as Race 1.
A good race for Nakano who, after having missed the train at the start, is able to find a decent pace until arriving only two seconds behind Biaggi's pack in the final laps, finishing once again in seventh place.
"These two fifth positions are the most we could have gotten - stated Biaggi - The result is good enough, but we suffered quite a bit with the vibrations in the turns and coming out of them we didn't have a lot of grip and that forced us to use softer tyres. Compared to November, the RSV4 has grown quite a bit, but the competition here in Superbike is merciless".
"I did much better in the last two rounds - said Nakano - where I had some bad trials and inconsistent races. This time it went much better, even if I still need to improve my feeling with the bike in the first five laps where I lose quite a lot. Anyway, I'm happy to have come back up front and I hope to improve even more in the race in the USA".
KYALAMI, RACE 1: BIAGGI FINISHES IN FIFTH PLACE, NAKANO IN SEVENTH
The sun shines brightly on the Kyalami racetrack for Race 1 of the South African Superbike round. Haga wins, on the official Ducati, in front of his team mate Fabrizio, Ben Spies third on his Yamaha.
Haga starts off well from fourth position and straight away forms a train of 6 riders which begins a chase including Fabrizio, Spies, Rea, Checa and Biaggi, with Nakano trying to catch up. In the second lap Fabrizio takes the lead and increases the pace, and in the sixth lap the group begins to break up. Halfway through the race, Haga takes command and begins to widen the gap, riding all alone until the chequered flag; behind him, Spies and Fabrizio are locked in a heated fencing match for second place, with the Ducati rider getting the better of the American, pulling away four laps from the end.
Biaggi, starting off well from the third row, stays in the lead group in sixth place until Fabrizio's push. In the eighth lap, Biaggi engages Checa, slower than he, in a duel and manages to overtake him only two laps later. Max throws himself into chasing down Rea, in fourth place, with an impressing pace, equalling that of the three lead riders. In the nineteenth lap, Max catches up the American, who is visibly slower, and tries to attack him any way possible on this stretch where it is extremely difficult to overtake. Rea closes all the doors and Biaggi tries anything and everything in the last turn, but goes too wide and has to settle for fifth place at a disadvantage of only 0"105.
Nakano, starting from the ninth row, recovers two positions straight away at the start and tries to stay with the lead group, but in the second lap he is already more than a second behind. Shinya fends off attacks by Morais and Kagayama with a good pace, pulling away from them halfway through the race and trying to catch Checa and Biaggi. Five laps from the end he is able to catch up the Spaniard, attempting repeatedly to overtake him. Unfortunately, his attempts are in vain and he crosses the finish line in seventh place.