World Superbike Donington Results 2012

May 13, 2012
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

BMW’s Marco Melandri and Honda’s Jonathan Rea split races in the fifth round of World Superbike action at Donington Park. The Italian rider made his way up from third place toward the end of Race 1 to take the lead during the final laps and score the second win of his career at the English venue and his first as a member of the BMW team. Race 2 proved to be a chaotic affairwith Carlos Checa, Leon Haslam and Eugene Laverty, among others, going down before the checkers. Biaggi remains on top of the points list after Donington, but Checa has fallen from second to fourth with Tom Sykes and and Jonathan Rea moving into the second and third positions respectively.

BMW Motorrad set a historic milestone in Race 1  earning their first team victory in World Superbike.
BMW Motorrad Motorsport scored a historic milestone, earning their first team World Superbike victory.

Race 1

BMW claimed its first ever World SBK win, with Marco Melandri taking the Race 1 victory at Donington Park. Teammate Leon Haslam came in second place and Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes held down third. The three traded positions often, with Haslam leading during the early laps and Sykes out front mid-race. Melandri began to make his move from third place with nine laps remaining, taking second from Sykes. With four laps remaining, the BMW rider made another push and took over first from Haslam. This is Melandri’s second consecutive year winning Race 1 at Donington and his first win riding for BMW. Last year’s first place finish marked the Italian’s maiden Superbike victory.

“It means a lot to me to win this for such a good factory like BMW,” said Melandri after Race 1. “It’s history and somthing I could not dream about when I was young. I had a good race pace yesterday and today the tires have been working very good until the end. We managed the situation well, but at the beginning I was not so fast, fortunately Tom and Leon were fighting a lot so they lost a bit of time and we could catch them again.” 

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi maintained fourth place for the majority of the contest, until Honda’s Jonathan Rea made a late move and stole position from the Roman, bumping him down to fifth. Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa came across the Race 1 finish line in sixth. Biaggi and Checa both have had less than stelar records at Donington, since Biaggi has never scored a win at the venue, and Checa had never reached the podium before last year’s races. Davide Giugliano of Althea Racing followed his teammate over two seconds later to take seventh place and Team Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli followed close behind in eighth.

Eugene Laverty of Aprilia Racing had continued difficulty, coming in 15th. The Irish rider had problems earlier in the round with chatter and tire wear, but went into Race 1 feeling positive, coming off a third place finish at Monza. 

Marco Melandri takes the checkers in Race 1.
Marco Melandri takes the checkers in Race 1 at Donington.

2012 World Superbike Donington Race 1 Results:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Leon Haslam (BMW)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
9. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
10. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
11. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
12. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
13. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
14. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
15. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
16. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
18. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
19. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
NC Mark Aitchison (BMW)
NC Peter Hickman (Suzuki)
RET Gary Mason (Kawasaki)
RET Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)

Jonathan Rea earned a first place finish at Assen  his only podium so far this year. Here Rea rides into second place during Fridays qualifying session at Donington Park.
Jonathan Rea bumped his way to the top, earning a Race 2 win after taking an inside line on Leon Haslam and making contact with the BMW rider in the final laps.

Race 2

Honda’s Jonathan Rea took the checkers in an action packed Race 2 at Donington Park. The British rider bested Aprilia’s Max Biaggi and Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes who came in second and third respectively. The second race of the day provided some unexpected twists to the unfolding drama of the 2012 World Superbike season. Carlos Checa, second in points overall, retired early in the race after a crash, and later, Race 1 first and second place finishers Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam fell off the top of the timesheet after both went down in the final lap.
On the first corner, Checa and Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty touched and went down, taking Liberty Team Efffebert’s Jakub Smrz down as well.

“The crash was the worst possible way to end this weekend,” said Laverty. “After struggling in Race 1 with a technical problem and finishing 15th, in the second race I didn’t want to lose contact with the lead pack. Just as I was pushing hardest I lost the back end, demolishing my RSV4.”

The remaining riders up front jostled for position, with Sykes leading for the majority of the race. The Kawasaki rider held until he was passed by Haslam, Biaggi and Melandri in the final laps. The Monza winner continued to struggle as Jonathan Rea passed to take fourth position with five laps remaining.

Rea remained out of podium position until the final laps; after a quick succession of position changes in the battle between Melandri, Biaggi and the Honda rider for second place, Melandri and Haslam went wide enough for Rea to take an inside line where he bumped Haslam out and into Melandri. Both BMW riders went down and Rea was able to hold his position until the checkers.

“In the last cornere there were five guys out there wanting to win a race, most of all Melandri,” said Rea. “He came from a long way back on Leon to create a gap that I went for, me and Leon touched and I’m really sorry that he crashed. But more importantly we’ve won, taken 25 points and I’ve given my team a great reward for giving me a great bike.”
After Haslam and Melandri went down, Leon Camier of FIXI Crescent Suzuki and Team Effenbert Liberty’s Sylvain Guintoli moved to within the top five. Peter Hickman, filling in for John Hopkins on the Crescent Suzuki Team, was able to finish ninth place after failing to finish in Race 1.

The string of events in Race 2 lead to some shifts in the overall championship points standings. Biaggi remains in the lead, but now has to worry about Tom Sykes in the number two spot. Sykes lags by only five and is now followed by Jonathan Rea in third who is 15.5 behind the Kawasaki rider. Carlos Checa moved down to fourth after his unfortunate crash in Race 2 and now sits just ahead of Marco Melandri who slipped to fifth place.

Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri going down late in Race 2.
Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri going down during the final laps of Race 2 after Jonathan Rea made a push for first.
Superbike Race 2 podium  with Jonathan Rea taking the top spot.
Jonathan Rea (center) accepting first place, followed by Max Biaggi (left) in second and Tom Sykes (right) in third.

2012 World Superbike Donington Race 2 Results:
1. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
2.Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
4. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
5. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
7. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
9. Peter Hickman (Suzuki)
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
11. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 
12. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati) 
13. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
14. Mark Aitchison (BMW)
15. Leon Haslam (BMW)
RET Marco Melandri (BMW)
RET Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
RET Gary Mason (Kawasaki)
RET Maxime Berger (Ducati)
RET Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
RET Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
RET Carlos Checa (Ducati)
RET Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

2012 World Superbike Points
1. Max Biaggi, 128.5
2. Tom Sykes, 123.5
3. Jonathan Rea, 108
4. Carlos Checa, 105.5
5. Marco Melandri, 97.5
6. Leon Haslam, 89
7. Sylvain Guintoli, 85
8. Eugene Laverty, 65
9. Davide Giugliano, 50
10. Jakub Smrz, 44.5