At the half-way point in the WSB series (seven of 14 rounds complete), Troy Bayliss and his Xerox Ducati still hold a relatively safe lead in the championship from Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) and Max Neukirchner (Alstare Suzuki), but the Yamaha Motor Italia team of Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser showed their recent form was no fluke.
Haga, who broke his right collarbone in the U.S. only two weeks ago, took a double win on Germany’s Nurburgring track this past weekend. In the second race he had a hard fight with Bayliss, taking the lead just at the end when the Aussie star made a small error, while Corser took fourth. After the day’s racing, he said, "Ten days ago I was a disaster and I am very happy for this win, just 14 days after breaking my collarbone. 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 … also a big thank you to Dr Ting, who made a great operation on my collarbone."
In race two, Haga and Corser were in a class of their own, swapping positions on almost every lap. The race was red-flagged and called complete at ¾ distance when rain moved in, and in fact Corser was ahead at the time, but scoring of course reverted to the last complete lap and Haga got credited with the win.
Neukirchner took the last podium spot in both races, while Checa, closest challenger to Bayliss at this point, got a pair of fifths, definitely not what he was expecting after his dominating double win at Miller in the U.S. two weeks ago.
The next race is June 29 at Misano, in Italy.