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World Superbike Miller Results 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012
Althea Racing's Carlos Checa and BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri split wins in World Superbike at Miller Motorsports Park. Checa dominated Race 1 and appeared to be poised for a repeat in Race 2 until he crashed out of the lead in the opening laps. That left the door open for Marco melandri and the rest of the field to battle for victory. In the end, Melandri earned the second win of the year for the Motorrad team by ousting rival Jonathan Rea of Honda on the final lap.
Carlos Checa at Miller.
Carlos Checa took both race wins at Miller in 2011 and looked ready for a repeat peformance after winning the first race. An unfortunate crash while leading race two will likely haunt the defending champ all season long.

Race 1

Althea Racing Ducati's Carlos Checa took the World Superbike Race 1 win at Miller with little pressure from anyone other than himself once he got to the front. The Ducati rider was followed by  BMW's Marco Melandri in second and Aprilia Racing’s Max Biaggi in third. Rea finished fourth and Eugene Laverty of Aprilia Racing rounded out the top five.

"It is a fantastic moment for me to win again, get on the podium, to take a victory," said Checa, "so some great feelings come back. It is a really special day for all the Americans here as it is Memorial Day so I want to dedicate this victory to you.”

Kawaski Racing's Tom Sykes looked good in the early going as he held the lead through the first turn, followed by Checa and Melandri. By Lap 2, Sykes had built a slight gap while Melandri had moved past Checa into second. On Lap 4 though, Sykes encounted problems in the back section of the track and slipped from first to fifth, giving up the top spot to Melandri. It took a while for Checa to collected himself and settle down but once he found his groove he set his sites on the BMW rider, reeled him in, took over the lead spot and never looked back.

American John Hopkins of FIXI Crescent Suzuki put his GSX-R1000 on the tarmac around lap ten. Wild-card entry Jake Holden of Grillini Progea threw his BMW S1000RR away just three laps later. That left Boulder Motorsport's Shane Turpin to finish as the top American in 18th.

Meanwhile, Checa held on to his comfortable lead while Melandri pushed hard to try and close the gap. Behind the leaders, Biaggi and Rea kept close to eachother in the race for third. A potentially volatile mix between the two ended up being one of the better battles with the Roman able to fend off Rea's attempts to regain podium position in the final laps of the race.

John Hopkins had a difficult day  crashing out in Race 1 and taking 16th in Race 2.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider John Hopkins went down in Race 1. He was able to return for Race 2 where he finished in 16th.
2012 World Superbike Miller Race 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
2. Marco Melandri (BMW)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
6. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
7. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
9. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
10. Leon Haslam (BMW)
11. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
12. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
13. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
14. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
15. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
16. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
18. Shane Turpin (Ducati)
19. Jake Holden (BMW)
RET Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
RET Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
RET John Hopkins (Suzuki)
RET David Salom (Kawasaki)
RET Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)

Marco Melandri took the Race 2 win after a difficult battle with Hondas Jonathan Rea.
Marco Melandri made a last lap pass to earn his second victory with the BMW Motorrad Team.
Race 2

Marco Melandri gave BMW Motorrad a second World Superbike victory when he bested Honda's Jonathan Rea for the win. In what can best be described as a small measure of redemption for Melandri as he was able to fend off a hard-charging Rea in an epic last-lap battle for the win. This time around it was Melandri who made a late race pass to steal victory from the Honda rider (ANd there was no crashing involved). Biaggi made it a 3-3 day by scoring the final step on the podium in Race 2 after fending off Chaz Davies.

Early in the race, Checa held a commanding lead but crashed out with 13 laps remaining. Once the Spanish rider went down, Melandri took the top spot and held on until Rea reeled him in. The Honda rider made a race of it as he made his way past Melandri with a trio of riders in tow and found himself in a good position to pick up a win. The Honda rider looked strong out front, but was unable to put any real distance Melandri and the top six riders behind him. Ultimately, the Melandri was able to regroup, repass and track down the leader in the closing stages. He made his last pass stick on the final lap and was able to hold off Rea as they dashed for the finish line.

“It was such a difficult race for me, I was lucky for sure when Carlos made a mistake," said Melandri. "I was struggling a little bit with a full fuel tank but after 50% of the race it was getting better. When Johnny passed me he was much faster than me, and I lost a bit of concentration, so Max passed me and then Chaz Davies did as well. So I tried to stay calm, take my rhythm and try to get a good feeling to catch Johnny. I was very lucky because my engine was so strong so I could pass him on the straight. Otherwise for me it would have been really difficult to pass him. So a podium in race one and a win in race two is really unbelievable.”

Biaggi moved up the timesheet through the race, displacing both Sykes and Parkingo Team’s Chaz Davies. Davies took his best finish of the season in fourth-place and Tom Sykes was able to hold on to fifth.

Biaggi remains in the points lead with his solid showing. He now has both Melandri and Sykes to worry about though, as the two riders are tied for second place, a mere 18-points behind the Aprilia rider. Jonathan Rea's recent showings have moved him up the list and he now occupies fourth overall ahead of Checa, who slipped to fifth after his unfortunate accident in Race 2 at Miller.

Race 2 podium: Marco Melandri  center  in first  Jonathan Rea  left  in second and Max Biaggi  right  in third.
Race 2 podium: Marco Melandri (center) in first, Jonathan Rea (left) in second and Max Biaggi (right) in third.
2012 World Superbike Miller Race 2 Results:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
4. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
6. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
8. Leon Haslam (BMW)
9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
10. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
11. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
12. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
13. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
14. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
15. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
16. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
17. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
18. Jake Holden (BMW)
19. Shane Turpin (Ducati)
RET David Salom
RET Carlos Checa
RET Niccolo Canepa
RET Lorenzo Zanetti
NS Hiroshi Aoyama

2012 World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Max Biaggi, 160.5
2. Marco Melandri, 142.5
3. Tom Sykes, 142.5
4. Jonathan Rea, 141
5. Carlos Checa, 130.5
6. Leon Haslam, 103
7. Sylvain Guintoli, 95
8. Eugene Laverty, 86
9. Davide Giugliano, 64
10. Jakub Smrz, 61.5



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