Motorcycling: Injured Haga closes on Bayliss with double victory

Noriyuki Haga has strengthened his position as a contender for the World Superbike championship with his first double win at the Nürburgring.

A thrilling battle in the rain between the Japanese rider and his Yamaha team-mate Troy Corser was brought to a premature end by the red flags. Corser was leading the second race as the flags came out, but with the count-back rule the race was deemed finished after lap 15, at which point Haga was ahead of the Australian.

The victory was made even more special by the fact that just two weeks ago Haga broke his collarbone in three places in a Saturday practice crash in Salt Lake City.

"Ten days ago I was a disaster and I am very happy for this win, just 14 days after breaking my collarbone," Haga said. "Everyone has helped me and I felt very comfortable in the riding. I want to say 'thank you' to the Clinica Mobile and my team and all the fans."

The double win takes Haga's championship points tally to 172 and leaves him 55 shy of leader Troy Bayliss, who came second in race one and fourth in the second outing after making mistakes in both legs.

Bayliss was leading the first race but he ran wide into turn one less than two laps from the end to hand victory to Haga. In race two he made two mistakes on the fifth lap, dropping from the lead down to fifth before recovering to fourth.

Bayliss said: "I saw after the warm-up that Nori was looking really consistent, and Max was going to do a good job and maybe Carlos, but Nori proved to be the strongest in the race. At about two-thirds distance I was doing everything I could to stay with Nori but thought that second place was good and I would increase my lead. Nori won fair and square, congratulations to him."

The ever-improving German rider Max Neukirchner, who impressed the home fans by taking superpole in qualifying on Saturday, continued to shine with a pair of third-place finishes for Suzuki. He said: "It was not possible to win here today, Troy Corser and Noriyuki Haga were a little bit faster, but I'm happy with two third places."

With the top four a good five seconds ahead, Spaniard Carlos Checa led the chasing pack in fifth with the Ducati trio of Michel Fabrizio, Max Biaggi and Ruben Xaus in sixth, seventh and eighth. Fonsi Nieto and Regis Laconi completed the top 10.

In the British Superbike Championship, Leon Camier and Shane Byrne took the victories in the fifth round at Snetterton yesterday. Camier headed off a late, determined challenge from his series-leading Airwaves Ducati team-mate Byrne in the opening race. Byrne turned the tables with a remarkable winning ride in the second rain-soaked race. He had to stop on the first lap as Karl Harris highsided in front of him.

But then Byrne carved through the pack from 13th place to snatch the lead with two laps left.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests