WSBK: Five-Way Battle in Race 2 Thrills at Donington Park

05/13/2012 @ 12:53 pm, by Jensen BeelerComments Off on WSBK: Five-Way Battle in Race 2 Thrills at Donington Park

With there being heated and close racing at Donington Park for Race 1, World Superbike’s second race for the day was sure to thrill as well, though we doubt anyone could have expected the race we got with Race 2. With the Kawasaki of Tom Sykes sitting on pole, and looking very fast, the Brit was a strong favorite for sure.

Though, no one could discredit the BMW’s of Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri, especially after their strong results in Race 1. Equally always a factor, Max Biaggi on his Aprilia is always a contender, even with the RSV4’s struggling at the English track. With the checkered flag being up for grabs, the only thing race fans were assured of was great racing. Click past for spoilers and results.

Hot off the line was Max Biaggi, though the Roman Emperor’s reign would be short-lived as a few turns later Tom Sykes would takeover. By the end of Turn 1, the race was already getting interesting. Jumping the start, Michel Fabrizio was given a ride-through penalty, while Carlos Checa and Jakum Smrz found the gravel trap after the reigning World Champion’s Ducati touched the rear wheel of Eugene Laverty’s Aprilia mix-apex.

With Sykes, Biaggi, and Haslam breaking away initially, a brutal battle between Marco Melandri and Jonathan Rea ensued for fourth place. That battle would come to a draw though, as the pair caught up to the front group, making it a five-way melee for the race lead, though Sykes remained firmly in control. As the riders shuffled around in their order, it wasn’t until seven laps remained that Sykes relinquished his lead, as both BMW’s mugged past him, putting Haslam into the front.

As Sykes again faded through the pack as he had done in Race 1, the two BMW’s had to contend with not only Max Biaggi, but a very strong looking Jonathan Rea. With Rea putting a hard pass on Biaggi during the last lap, the Englishman had his eyes set on the BMW’s going into the final turn of the race. Squeaking under Haslam, and making contact with his fellow Brit, Rea got clear while Haslam crashed into Marco Melandri, who had blown the turn and was quite wide.

With the BMW riders hitting the tarmac, Rea took the checkered flag, and in the process handed podium finishes to both Max Biaggi and Tom Sykes. A horrible finish to an otherwise magnificent weekend for BMW, Donington Park hosted some great racing, and has shown that the factory BMW’s will be serious contenders throughout the 2012 season. From Mother’s Day to Memorial Day, World Superbike returns May 28th for the US round at Miller Motorsports Park, where AMA Pro Racing will serve as its support class.

Race Results from World Superbike Race 2 at Donington Park, England:

1.Jonathan ReaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR
2.Max BiaggiAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory0.508
3.Tom SykesKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R2.029
4.Leon CamierFIXI Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R10004.245
5.Sylvain GuintoliTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R6.595
6.Ayrton BadoviniBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR17.469
7.Chaz DaviesParkinGO MTC RacingAprilia RSV4 Factory17.788
8.Loris BazKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10R21.093
9.Peter HickmanFIXI Crescent SuzukiSuzuki GSX-R100021.866
10.Hiroshi AoyamaHonda World Superbike TeamHonda CBR1000RR22.62
11.Niccolò CanepaRed Devils RomaDucati 1098R26.764
12.Lorenzo ZanettiPATA Racing TeamDucati 1098R27.043
13.Michel FabrizioBMW Motorrad Italia GoldBetBMW S1000 RR28.39
14.Mark AitchisonGrillini Progea Superbike TeamBMW S1000 RR56.618
15.Leon HaslamBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR80.196
RETMarco MelandriBMW Motorrad MotorsportBMW S1000 RR
RETLeandro MercadoTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R’
RETGary MasonTeam PederciniKawasaki ZX-10R
RETMaxime BergerTeam Effenbert Liberty RacingDucati 1098R
RETDavide GiuglianoAlthea RacingDucati 1098R
RETEugene LavertyAprilia Racing TeamAprilia RSV4 Factory
RETCarlos ChecaAlthea RacingDucati 1098R
RETJakub SmrzLiberty Racing Team EffenbertDucati 1098R

Source: WSBK; Photo: Honda

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