World Superbike Nurburgring Results 2012

September 9, 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.

Max Biaggi  3  and Eugene Laverty  58  at Nurburgring.
Max Biaggi (3) and Eugene Laverty (58) were part of an all Aprilia podium in Race 1 at Nurburgring.

The World Superbike races at Nurburgring turned out to be some of the most dramatic of the 2012 season. Max Biaggi headed up an all Aprilia podium in Race 1 and in Race 2 ParkinGO MTC Racing’s Chaz Davies scored the first Superbike win of his career. BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri had an infinitely disappointing round and as a result, the points advantage returns to Biaggi.

Race 1

The Corsair beat out his teammate, Eugene Laverty by over three seconds at the checkers in Race 1. Davies rounded out the podium for the third time this season. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes lost speed mid-race and fell off the lead to finish in fourth, with FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier following in fifth.

Sykes and Biaggi were out front off the start, with the British rider leading the opening 11 laps. Biaggi was able to make his move on Lap 12 and he held strong to the finish. Sykes faced heavy pressure from Laverty, who was in third, and finally lost enough speed to allow both Laverty and Davies to pass with five laps remaining.

“We did a good job all weekend, reaching a truly satisfying set-up,” said Biaggi. “In Race 1 I got off to a good start and then Sykes set a mad pace. When I saw him starting to slow I risked overtaking. I thought maybe it was a strategy he was using, but then the gap widened so I pushed hard until the checkered flag came out.”

Marco Melandri  33  had a terrible round at Nurburgring  going down in both races.
Marco Melandri (33) couldn’t protect his points lead after crashing out of both races at Nurburgring.

PATA Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli took sixth comfortably ahead of BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam. Guintoli’s teammate and Superbike rookie Lorenzo Zanetti took another top-ten finish in eighth. Zanetti had a rough start to the season, with some back-of-the-pack finishes and a number of DNF’s, but his performance has improved lately and he may earn a top-five finish before the year is over. BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Ayrton Badovini scored ninth and Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama took 10th.

Melandri came into the race with the points lead, starting third on the grid. He slipped a bit through the first lap, coming around in fifth, but regained third on the subsequent lap. He held steady for a brief period before crashing out of the race on Lap 5.
Honda’s Jonathan Rea suffered a similar fate as Melandri, though earlier in the contest, going down on Lap 2 and retiring from Race 1 after setting the fifth-fastest time in Superpole. Sykes’ teammate Loris Baz and Althea Racing’s Davide Giugliano were among others to retire from the contest as well.

Superbike Race 1 podium with Max Biaggi  center  in first  Eugene Laverty  left  in second and Chaz Davies  right  in third.
Race 1 podium with Max Biaggi (center) in first, Eugene Laverty (left) in second and Chaz Davies (right) in third.

World Superbike Nurburgring Race 1 Results 2012:
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
3. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
5. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
7. Leon Haslam (BMW)
8. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
10. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
11. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
12. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
13. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
14. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati)
15. Brett McCormack (Ducati)
16. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki)
17. Norino Brignola (BMW)

Race 2

Davies came out on top in Race 2 after staging a commanding performance, leading for over half the contest. Laverty jumped to second with two laps remaining, defending against pressure from Camier who took his first podium finish of the year in third.

Chaz Davies took his first Superbike race win in Race 2 at Nurburgring.
Chaz Davies had a stellar weekend, earning his first Superbike race win in Race 2 at Nurburgring and signing to ride with BMW Motorrad alongside Marco Melandri in 2013.

“What a feeling! I got an average start and went the long way round at the first corner,” explained Davies. “It was risky but it worked and I was fourth. I was comfortable all race, and knew if I could just get away with the front guys I thought I could stay and that was the case, but I didn’t expect the mistakes from Marco and Max! In the end it was just a concentration game with myself, keeping the lap times consistent.”

Sykes once again jumped to the lead early on, but fell to Melandri mid-race and was unable to regain position by the end. Melandri led for just one lap before crashing out. Davies took advantage of the Italian rider’s mistake and was able to move from third to first, getting ahead of Sykes and maintaining position to the end.

“Today was my first time getting a double zero,” said Melandri. “It was two different races, but with the same result. I am very disappointed for the team that is working so hard. In race one I struggled a lot with the rear grip and was losing a lot compared to the guys in front of me so I was trying to catch them in braking. I was braking very hard every time but in corner eight I took a bump and just lost the front. I don’t know what caused my crash in race two yet. I was on the straight and lost the front. That was strange. Now I will recharge my batteries and fight back in Portugal.”

Rea fared much better in Race 2, finishing fourth, followed by Sykes in fifth. Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa improved on his Race 1 showing, where he took 12th, earning sixth ahead of his teammate Giugliano. Baz grabbed eighth, while Badovini and Guintoli took ninth and 10th respectively.

Biaggi had a big mountain to climb after crashing in the first lap and falling to the back of the pack. He was able to remount quickly, but spent the remainder of the contest pushing as far forward as possible, finally making it to 13th before the checkers.

“It was a shame about the crash in the first lap of Race 2,” said Biaggi. “I braked without overdoing it, but then I hit a bump and I couldn’t do anything about the slide. I’m disappointed because after that I was riding well with a leading pace. Given what had happened, we contained the damage and we’re leaving the Nürburgring with the leadership. It could have been worse, but we could also have done a repeat of the good result in Race 1. In Portimao we’ll be starting almost from scratch. The battle is close, but we’ll be in it until the end.”

Leon Camier  2  battling with Tom Sykes  66  and Eugene Laverty  58  at Nurburgring.
Superbike Race 2 podium with Chaz Davies  center  in first  Eugene Laverty  left  in second and Leon Camier  right  in third.
(Top) Leon Camier battling with Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty for his first top-three finish of the season. (Below) Race 2 podium with Chaz Davies (center) in first, Eugene Laverty (left) in second and Camier (right) in third.

As a result of Melandri’s abysmal luck, Biaggi was able to reclaim the points lead and now has a 9.5 point advantage over the BMW rider. Sykes remains in third but he closed the gap on Melandri a bit, cutting a 22.5 point deficit to 17. Checa holds steady in fourth, as does Rea in fifth.

World Superbike Nurburgring Race 2 Results 2012:
1. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
2. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
3. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
10. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
11. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
12. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
13. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
14. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
16. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati)
17. Norino Brignola (BMW)

World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Max Biaggi, 318
2. Marco Melandri, 308.5
3. Tom Sykes, 291.5
4. Carlos Checa, 247.5
5. Jonathan Rea, 225.5
6. Eugene Laverty, 213.5
7. Leon Haslam, 189
8. Chaz Davies, 156.5
9. Sylvain Guintoli, 143.5
10. Davide Giugliano, 125

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