It was a mixed day for the Yamaha World Superbike Team in Valencia today. Race one saw Ben Spies fall going into turn one on the ninth lap as he moved in to take Neukirchner (Suzuki) for second position. Team-mate Tom Sykes faired better, having started in 16th position following an unlucky tyre decision in Superpole yesterday, he steadily worked his way through the field to finish seventh with an impressive display of consistent race pace.
Race two saw Spies touch with Haga (Ducati) on the opening laps, bending his brake lever in the process. Undaunted he stayed on the pace, and although unable to catch Haga he put in consistent fast laps to finish in second position, taking valuable championship points away with him. For Sykes race two was equally impressive, after starting in 16th position he fought his way up to ninth, passing Biaggi and Hopkins in the process. Sitting up to avoid a late braking rider in front he ran wide five laps from the end allowing Biaggi back through and leaving Sykes in tenth position for the end of the race.
Spies remains second in the championship with 95 points, trailing leader Haga by 40. Team-mate Sykes leaves Valencia with 47 points, sitting eighth in the championship as they head to Assen for round four.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team, (DNF, 2nd)
Race one was unfortunate for me, I was pushing really hard to make up for an electrical issue going into the corner and crashed. We tried as hard as we could in race two to make it up. For the first couple of laps I had a couple of small problems and just didnt quite get rolling and by the time we got into second position I would have needed to be right on the back of Nori to challenge for it as he was riding at a very good pace. I guess I just didnt have the speed today. Well come back at Assen and try to step it up.
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team, (7th, 10th)
I got a good start in race one and got past a few in turn one. It was a fairly decent race in the end, I think I could have gone for fifth but Leon Haslam had done a good job in the last few laps and made a big gap. I think we could have been in the top five otherwise. For me it was very difficult in race two, I had a good start, but going into turn two I was held and others came round the outside and went through. I worked my way back up to ninth and was looking good and catching up with Neukirchner but unfortunately got so close to Biaggi and just as we were going into turn one I ran wide a bit and let two or three past. Ive learnt from my mistakes this weekend, I messed up in qualifying and potentially cost myself two very good results. With the R1 working so well round here its a lesson learnt and hopefully wont let it happen again!
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
We lost points during race one however in the second race we came back to achieve second position which is good for championship points. Weve learnt from the mistakes of race one. In the end we had a strange weekend with good and less good results on both sides. Both races were tough for Tom from the start, starting from the fifth row meant he had a lot of hard work to do. This gives us more experience for the upcoming rounds, as Ben said, in Assen we will be ready to step it up.