World Superbike and World Supersport 2012
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was only 0.134 seconds from third place in the second 22-lap race at Phillip Island, having held a top three finishing spot for virtually all the second leg around the 4.445Km circuit. After a seventh spot in race one, Rea sits fifth in the championship rankings, on 22 points, after opening day races that were won by Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Carlos Checa (Ducati).
The rider from Northern Ireland had qualified in eighth place and after the disappointment of race one he was in determined mood in race two. His tyre had finally given its best, however, and despite some great tactical riding to keep eventual third place rider Tom Sykes behind him, Sykes had better drive out of the final corner and passed him down the long finish straight.
New SBK rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) rode with intelligence to record eighth in race one and ninth in race two, results that place him ninth in the championship overall, ahead of many more experienced riders in this class.
Hiroshi was 17th in combined qualifying, which determined the grid positions after Superpole was cancelled. This was due to a fatal accident suffered by local rider Oscar McIntyre in a support class race earlier in the day, and Honda extends its deepest sympathises and condolences to Oscar’s family and friends.
New regulations, which specify that each rider only have one bike in the pit box in 2012, had an effect in qualifying for both Rea and Aoyama, each of whom lost some valuable time in this year’s 45-minute sessions. Rea missed some action after a sensor malfunctioned inside his engine and Aoyama had to have crash damage repaired.
Raffaele De Rosa (Pro Ride Motorsports Honda) did not start in race one despite making it to the start-line, and he was 17th from seventeen finishers in race two in his first race in this division, missing out on scoring points.
Pole position man Broc Parkes Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) made a less than perfect start in the FIM Supersport World Championship race and was down in fifth for some time, then dropped to sixth, before fighting back to score third place at his home race, all despite ever-worsening rear tyre grip.
Due to fears about tyre life in the hot track conditions at Phillip Island the opening round was shortened to 15-laps instead of the scheduled 21. Most riders still had traction issues on race-day, despite track temperatures of 43°C, far less than the near 60°C temperatures which were evident during final qualifying on Saturday. Parkes was also fastest man in warm-up this morning, despite only doing three laps right at the end of the 20-minute session.
Former Moto2 rider, but WSS rookie Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) followed up on a third place grid position with fourth in the race, just over two seconds from winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) and second place rider Fabien Foret (Kawasaki). Cluzel also found issues with rear tyre grip near the end and could not hold onto the more experienced Parkes.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) opted to bring his bike home safely in fifth place, just less than five seconds from the winner, as he has a blistered rear tyre. His mature approach earned him eleven championship points. He had started from second spot on the grid, the middle rider in a qualifying 1-2-3 run for Honda.
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) went from 13th on the grid to an assured seventh in the race, ending up riding alone and to save his rear tyre. Lukas Pesek (PRORACE Honda) secured a top ten on the opening day of WSS play, stepping up two places from his qualifying position.
South African Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was the last Honda rider in the points, 14th, and one of many new riders to the class this season. He had qualified 15th.
Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was on course for a top ten until he slipped back severely to record a 20th place finish.
Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda), Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) finished 16th, 17th and 18th respectively.
Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Racing Honda) and Ondrej Jezek (SMS Racing Honda) each failed to finish, as did ninth place qualifier Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda). Thomas Caiani (KUJA Racing Honda) was the last rider classified as a finisher, in 23rd place after experiencing some issues in practice.
|1||M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|2||M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|3||S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|4||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|5||J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)|
|6||M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)|
|7||J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|8||H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|9||D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)|
|10||B. STARING (Team Pedercini)|
|11||L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)|
|12||L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|13||M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|14||D. SALOM (Team Pedercini)|
|15||J. LASCORZ (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|1||C. CHECA (Althea Racing)|
|2||M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|3||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|4||J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|5||L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|6||M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|7||M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|8||E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|9||H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|10||N. CANEPA (Red Devils Roma)|
|11||J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)|
|12||L. CAMIER (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)|
|13||D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)|
|14||L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)|
|15||J. BROOKES (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)|
|1||K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)|
|2||F. FORET (Kawasaki Intermoto Step)|
|3||B. PARKES (Ten Kate Racing Products)|
|4||J. CLUZEL (PTR Honda)|
|5||S. LOWES (Bogdanka PTR Honda)|
|6||S. MORAIS (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)|
|7||R. QUARMBY (PTR Honda)|
|8||A. BALDOLINI (Power Team by Suriano)|
|9||V. IANNUZZO (Power Team by Suriano)|
|10||L. PESEK (PRORACE)|
|11||J. METCHER (Rivamoto Junior Team)|
|12||J. DAY (Team GOELEVEN)|
|13||L. MARCONI (VFT Racing)|
|14||M. SCHOLTZ (Bogdanka PTR Honda)|
|15||F. MENGHI (VFT Racing)|