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.
The 2012 World Superbike championship season provided countless instances of that edge-of-the-seat excitement that makes being a fan of professional motorcycle racing so rewarding. Whether it was Tom Sykes looking to sustain the lead pace over the entire race distance, Max Biaggi charging through the pack after a bad start to maintain his points lead or Marco Melandri’s dramatic string of terrible luck through the final rounds, 2012 was, to say the least, a historic season. With the 2013 opener at Phillip Island just weeks away, we decided to look back and highlight some of the most memorable moments of 2012, to help get you as pumped for the upcoming season as we are.
During the final laps, Melandri and Haslam appeared to be on pace to repeat their Race 1 showing. Haslam had taken over the lead while Melandri drifted between second and third in a battle with Biaggi. Both BMW riders went slightly wide on late-race turn and Rea pushed hard for the inside line from fourth-place, making contact with Haslam in the process and sending the British rider into Melandri’s line, effectively taking out the entire BMW Motorrad team in one fell swoop. Haslam was able to salvage a last-place finish, but Melandri left with a DNF.
Following the Donington round, Melandri’s and Haslam’s roads diverged, with Melandri going on to secure five more race wins, five additional podiums and become a legitimate threat to win the 2012 title. If it hadn’t been for a dismal string of luck in the final three rounds, taking three DNFs in four races and missing Portimao entirely after a big crash early in Race 1, the Italian would likely have taken the 2012 championship. Haslam struggled as the season progressed; only breaking the top-three once more through all the remaining rounds and falling outside the top-10 on more than one occasion. Melandri returns to see if he can claim the title for the propeller brand in 2013 while Haslam has moved on to Pata Honda, but 2012 will go down as a breakout year for BMW thanks to the efforts of both riders and their performance at Donington Park.
Want to get in on the 2013 World Superbike action? Play Motorcycle USA’s Fantasy Superbike for a chance to win prizes like a VIP trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and $50 gift cards from Motorcycle-Superstore.com. Get in on the action before it’s too late, Round 1 at Phillip Island is set for February 24th!