World Superbike Brno Results 2012

July 22, 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.

After dramatic finishes in both Race 1 and 2, BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri earned a perfect weekend at Brno, giving BMW its first, and second victories at the Czech circuit. Melandri outpaced Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes in both contests, further frustrating the British rider’s campaign for his first dry condition Superbike win. Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz had his best weekend of the season, earning his first podium in Race 1 and holding to within the top ten in Race 2.

Race 1

Marco Melandri was thankful for his success at Brno.
Marco Melandri had a perfect weekend at Brno, going 1-1.

Melandri took the win in Race 1 after making it to the front in the final laps of the contest, beating out long time race leader Sykes. Sykes’ teammate Baz rounded out the podium, earning his first top three finish of the season and marking his third time coming across the finish in the top ten since filling in for the injured Joan Lascorz. The session was declared wet, though just a handful of damp patches remained on track at the opening of the race and by the end, the sun was blazing and most of the wet spots had dried out.

Melandri came through the first lap in sixth, falling soon after to eighth in a tight battle for position between himself, his teammate Leon Haslam, Honda’s Jonathan Rea and Liberty Racing Team Effenbert’s Jakub Smrz. After half the race had passed, Melandri started to stage his comeback, powering through the ranks until he’d reached third on Lap 17. Rea had already made the push to the front and was battling with Sykes for the lead, then while coming around a turn late in the race the two collided, sending Rea flying off his bike and allowing Melandri to get past Sykes for the front with just two laps remaining. Rea was able to walk away from the incident, but was visibly shaken.

“The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead,” said Rea. “Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position.”

The drying track and fierce competition made Race 1 a challenge for Melandri as well. “At the beginning the conditions were very difficult as it was wet. As we were riding with slicks we just tried not to lose too many positions, but in the first few laps I struggled a lot. While I was trying to improve my position I made two mistakes because I still was not feeling comfortable. When I saw I was eighth I said to myself I needed to be quiet and keep my rhythm to catch the front guys. It was not easy to overtake them, but when I took the lead with one lap to go I knew I just needed to keep pushing as much as I could. I knew I was faster than the others.”

Marco Melandri  33  ahead of Tom Sykes  66  and Jonathan Rea  65  at Brno.
Marco Melandri (33) ahead of Tom Sykes (66) and Jonathan Rea (65) at Brno before Sykes and Rea collided.

Baz staged one of his best performances of the season, coming out in fifth through Lap 1 and holding in the top five for the entire contest. Once Rea went down, he battled with Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa for the final spot on the rostrum, beating out the 2011 world champion in the final two laps.

Following Checa in fifth was Aprilia Racing’s Eugene Laverty and teammate Max Biaggi in sixth. The RSV4 riders struggled through the entire contest, sitting as far back as ninth and tenth respectively through a number of the opening laps. Laverty forged ahead mid-race, getting to fifth on Lap 11 and holding relatively steady there until the checkers. Biaggi made the jump from seventh to sixth in the final laps after Rea crashed out.

Haslam came through in seventh, followed by BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio in eighth and Team Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Maxime Berger in ninth. Berger had one of his finest moments so far this season, leading the pack through four laps early in the contest. He soon slipped back, falling to fifth by mid-race and finally to 10th for much of the second half. He too jumped up one position as a result of Rea’s fall. Smrz rounded out the top ten.
Besides Rea, Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano also crashed during the contest. Giugliano was fastest during Friday’s practice and timed sessions and came off the start in Race 1 challenging for the lead. Just three laps in though, the Ducati rider went down. He scrambled to rejoin the action but soon after had to head to the pits with issues stemming from his accident.

Superbike Race 1 podium with Marco Melandri  center  in first  Tom Sykes  left  in second and Loris Baz  right  in third.
Superbike Race 1 podium with Marco Melandri (center) in first, Tom Sykes (left) in second and Loris Baz (right) in third.

World Superbike Brno Race 1 Results 2012:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
3. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
4. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
6. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
7. Leon Haslam (BMW)
8. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
9. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
10. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
11. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
12. Alessandro Polita (Ducati)
13. Norino Brignola (BMW)
14. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
15. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
17. Viktor Kispataki (Honda)
18. David Salom (Kawasaki)

Race 2

Melandri came out on top once again in Race 2, besting Sykes on the final lap. Sykes had been on pace to earn his first dry condition win, leading 19 of 20 laps, but Melandri pressed on the Kawasaki rider’s rear tire the entire race and made the pass on the final lap. Checa earned the final step on the podium, trailing Sykes by over six seconds at the checkers.

Marco Melandri celebrating his fantastic weekend at Brno.
Melandri was thrilled to win two in a row.

“Race 2 was even more difficult, as Tom was having a great race and I had to spend a lot of energy trying to catch him,” said Melandri. “The tire was working very well today, and I was able to keep the gap very small. Every time I tried to pass Tom he was braking so hard that it was nearly impossible. Once I finally passed him, I made a mistake and Tom passed me back. It was really tough to catch him again.”

There was much less movement out front in Race 2 as compared to Race 1 as Sykes and Melandri took to the front on Lap 3 and proceeded to build a gap on Checa. Biaggi, who came across the finish in fourth, settled into position on Lap 6 and fifth place finisher Laverty held his ground from Lap 8 on, slipping to sixth for just one lap late in the contest.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t do any better than we did today,” said Biaggi. “We had some big problems with chattering which compromised every move I made. In Race 2 I tried not to lose touch with the front pack, but I just couldn’t maintain their pace. I was already at the limit as if it were the last lap.”

ParkinGo’s Chaz Davies took sixth, followed by Haslam in seventh and Baz in eighth. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier finished in ninth with Fabrizio rounding out the top ten. Rea was able to return to the grid after his crash late in Race 1, but was unable to advance beyond 12th by the end. Giugliano outpaced Rea in 11th by just under one second.

Biaggi remains in the points lead, but lost ground to his challengers. Melandri, currently in second overall, cut the gap between first and second by over half, coming into Brno with a deficit of 48 on Biaggi and leaving just 21 behind. Sykes closed in on the lead as well, jumping from fifth overall to third and now 59 points short of the front. Checa continues to challenge for third overall, eight points behind the Kawasaki rider. Rea’s disappointing weekend dropped him from third to fifth.

Max Biaggi struggled with bike issues at Brno and finished off the podium in both races.
Current points leader Max Biaggi struggled with bike issues all weekend, missing podiums in both races.

World Superbike Brno Race 2 Results 2012:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
3. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
4. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
6. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
7. Leon Haslam (BMW)
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
9. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
10. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
11. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
12. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
13. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
14. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
15. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
16. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
17. Norino Brignola (BMW)
18. Viktor Kispataki (Honda)

World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Max Biaggi, 271.5
2. Marco Melandri, 250.5
3. Tom Sykes, 212.5
4. Carlos Checa, 204.5
5. Jonathan Rea, 187
6. Leon Haslam, 160
7. Eugene Laverty, 148
8. Sylvain Guintoli, 110
9. Davide Giugliano, 99
10. Chaz Davies, 93

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