WSBK: Duel to the Finish for Race 1 at Aragon

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With the weather being fair, though cooler and windier at Aragon than some would prefer, World Superbike racing was underway in Spain as Tom Sykes sat on pole…yet again. Fast on Saturday’s, the Englishman has been unable to convert his Superpole dominance into real race results, though the Kawasaki Racing racer was the only rider during qualifying to break into the 1’36 timezone.

Showing more promise with their race pace were the factory Aprilias of Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty, who will start second and third on the grid, respectively. Rounding out the front row was Leon Haslam, who bested his teammate Marco Melandri.

With the lights going out, it was Sykes who lead Laverty, Biaggi, Melandri, and Davide Giugliano through the first turn. Not everyone would get through the first turn though, as Jonathan Rea and several others got mixed up in a multi-bike pile-up in Turn 1.

Despite having a golden moment in the Championship from this incident, Skyes’ lead at the front would be short-lived as Laverty and then Biaggi would get past him. As Biaggi took over from his teammate, Sykes again found himself mugged, this time by Melandri who was on a charge to the front.

With 16 laps to go, Melandri was past Laverty, and the battle for first between the two Italians was underway. Going all the way down to the final laps, both Biaggi and Melandri had their moments in front, but it was the BMW’s worn tires that proved to be the fatal flaw in Melandri’s attack plane. Able to manage his tread to the end, Biaggi took a comfortable, but close, win over his rival.

With nine seconds between the front-runners and podium-man Carlos Checa, the gap was mainly due to the massive pace put down by Biaggi and Melandri, but was also aided by Sykes and Badovini coming together with two laps remaining, as the Italian lost the front tire, and took out Sykes in the process.

Race 1 Results from World Superbike at Aragon, Spain:

Pos. Rider Team Bike Time Diff.
1. Max Biaggi Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 39’51.188
2. Marco Melandri BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 39’51.466 0.278
3. Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 40’00.650 9.462
4. Chaz Davies ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40’02.015 10.827
5. Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing Team Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40’06.896 15.708
6. Michel Fabrizio BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 40’18.785 27.597
7. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad Motorsport BMW S1000 RR 40’20.220 29.032
8. Davide Giugliano Althea Racing Ducati 1098R 40’30.562 39.374
9. Leon Camier FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 40’32.075 40.887
10. Maxime Berger Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 40’32.628 41.44
11. Niccoló Canepa Red Devils Roma Ducati 1098R 40’33.244 42.056
12. Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati 1098R 40’33.557 42.369
13. Lorenzo Zanetti PATA Racing Team Ducati 1098R 40’33.857 42.669
14. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 40’39.198 48.01
15. John Hopkins FIXI Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000 40’40.940 49.752
16. Jonathan Rea Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR 40’45.778 54.59
17. Norino Brignola Grillini Progea Superbike Team BMW S1000 RR 41’50.841 119.653
RET Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 37’59.942
RET Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet BMW S1000 RR 38’00.256
RET David Salom Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 37’42.556
RET Leandro Mercado Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 20’25.914
RET Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R 17’07.882
RET Jakub Smrz Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati 1098R

Source: WSBK