Kawasaki's Tom Sykes
and BMW Motorrad's Marco Melandri
split wins at the inaugural World Superbike event at Moscow Raceway. A number of crashes in both contests left some top contenders out of podium position and helped move Melandri to the championship points lead.
Tom Sykes took the win in Race 1 at Moscow Raceway.
Sykes earned his second win of the season in Race 1, beating out Melandri by over eight seconds at the checkers. Aprilia’s Max Biaggi
fought hard to protect his points lead and rounded out the podium in the wet session.
"Carlos made history yesterday with the first pole but like I’ve said all season I would certainly trade my pole for a race win and today that’s happened," said Sykes. "Myself and Kawasaki have gone down in the history books by winning here, the race went very smoothly for myself, we did a lot of work yesterday on race tires and today has paid off with full points."
Sykes dominated the contest, getting out front early and leading every lap of the race. Melandri, on the other hand, had to battle for his position, coming off the start in fifth and falling back to seventh for the opening laps. He the worked his way through the field and had secured his final position on Lap 19 of the 25 lap contest. Biaggi faced a similar struggle, making his way up from eighth to take third with a final lap pass by his teammate Eugene Laverty
BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet’s Michel Fabrizio took fifth and Melandri’s teammate Leon Haslam finished in sixth. Red Devils Roma rider Niccola Canepa earned one of his best finishing positions of the season in seventh and PATA Racing’s Lorenzo Zanetti held to eighth. FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s John Hopkins was able to finish within the top ten at ninth and Team Pedercini’s David Salom took tenth.
Some of the top-tier riders that fared well earlier in the weekend ran into trouble, including Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa
and teammate Davide Giuglaino as well as Honda’s Jonathan Rea
. The Ducati duo had posted top times during practice and qualifying but both crashed out of the race mid-way through and Rea did the same soon after.
World Superbike Moscow Race 1 Results 2012:
Superbike Race 1 podium with Tom Sykes (center) in first, Marco Melandri (left) in second and Max Biaggi (right) in third.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Marco Melandri (BMW)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
5. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
6. Leon Haslam (BMW)
7. Niccola Canepa (Ducati)
8. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
9. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
10. David Salom (Kawasaki)
11. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
12. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
14. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki)
15. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
16. Daniel McFadden (Kawasaki)
Marco Melandri celebrating his Race 2 win.
Conditions improved for Race 2 and Melandri took full advantage, earning the win and taking over the championship points lead from Biaggi. Sykes held steady in second, trailing by just 0.976 seconds and ParkinGO MTC Racing’s Chaz Davies took his second podium of the season in third.
"It’s been an awesome day for me because Race 1 was very tough, so finishing second was for me like a win," said Melandri. "But in Race 2 I felt very good, my crew chief made a small modification on the bike and I felt very confident from the beginning. About six or seven laps to go, my rear tire was sliding a lot but was working perfectly with my BMW. I’m so happy because this year we are doing a great job."
Davies took the final podium position after Laverty highsided on the final lap, an incident that affected a number of other riders and opened the door for Davies to advance. Honda’s Jonathan Rea hit the RSV4 and went down but was able to recover and finish seventh and Checa was pushed off track and fell back to finish in fourth.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s held steady to take one of his best results of the year in fifth and he was followed by Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano in sixth.
Biaggi suffered a collision with Haslam and both riders were forced to retire from the race.
"The crash was the last thing we needed," said Biaggi. "Unfortunately, when I changed my line in the braking section I ended up on some dirty asphalt and I wasn't able to slow down. I saw Haslam drawing closer and tried unsuccessfully to avoid the collision. I apologised to him straight away. At first I thought he had been injured, but fortunately he assured me that he was OK. After the podium finish in the first race I wanted to stay up front. This really complicates the championship but it certainly isn't over yet."
As a result of Biaggi's DNF in Race 2, Melandri moved into the overall points lead and has an 18.5 advantage over the Roman. Sykes holds steady in third overall and Checa remains in fourth.
World Superbike Moscow Race 2 Results 2012:
Race 2 podium with Marco Melandri (center) in first, Tom Sykes (left) in second and Chaz Davies (right) in third.
1. Marco Melandri (BMW)
2. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
3. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
4. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
5. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
6. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
7. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
8. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
9. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
10. Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
11. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
12. John Hopkins (Suzuki)
13. David Salom (Kawasaki)
14. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki)
World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Marco Melandri, 308.5
2. Max Biaggi, 290
3. Tom Sykes, 267.5
4. Carlos Checa, 233.5
5. Jonathan Rea, 212.5
6. Leon Haslam, 180
7. Eugene Laverty, 173.5
8. Sylvain Guintoli, 127.5
9. Michel Fabrizio, 119.5
10. Davide Giugliano, 116