x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Spies holds off Biaggi charge

Ben Spies bounced back from an opening race retirement yesterday to claim victory in race two at Brno.

Ben Spies bounced back from an opening race retirement yesterday to claim victory in race two at the FIM Superbike World Championship round at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic and close the gap to standings leader Nori Haga to seven points. The American held off a spirited late charge by opening-race winner Max Biaggi after leading from the second turn to come home 0.213secs ahead of the Italian.

The Yamaha WSB rider, who saw a coming together with Michel Fabrizio put paid to his hopes in race one, swept past Troy Corser on the first corner after the Australian had briefly snatched the lead and never looked back. Italian Fabrizio finished in third, with Ten Kate Honda duo Jonathan Rea of Britain and Carlos Checa from Spain fourth and fifth. Biaggi had earlier taken victory in race one after profiting from that collision between Spies and Fabrizio. Spies and Fabrizio, who had started first and second on the grid, both crashed out of the race when their bikes came together on a fast left-hand turn on lap four.

Fabrizio appeared to lose control of his Ducati Xerox and took the Yamaha of Spies down with him. Biaggi was the man to profit as he earned the first success for his Aprilia team since Regis Laconi won at Imola in 2001. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso won his first MotoGP race in a rain-soaked British Grand Prix yesterday. The 23-year-old Repsol Honda rider finished ahead of Colin Edwards and Randy de Puniet.

Pole sitter Valentino Rossi fell with 11 laps remaining, but got back up to finish fifth. Rossi still leads the world championship standings by 25 points. * PA Sport