World Superbike and World Supersport 2012
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) scored his and Honda’s second FIM Superbike World Championship race win of 2012, in race two at Donington, after what was one of the most close fought and exciting contests the famous old circuit has ever hosted.
Under sunny skies on race-day, after a period of almost always dry practice and qualifying, Rea scored fourth in race one, itself a minor classic of the genre, which was won by Marco Melandri. The Italian rider gave BMW its first ever win in this class of racing. It was race two, the second 23-lap race of the day, that really got the crowds going, however, at what was officially called the European round of the championship.
Rea had been sixth on lap one of race one, matching his qualifying position, but he clawed his way back into the leading bunch and was less than two seconds from Melandri and potential victory, with Leon Haslam (BMW) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) also in front of him. In race two Rea also had to work hard to get into contention with the leading few and also ran off track at one time as he pushed on to what at one time looked like an unlikely podium, much less a potential victory.
Fourth going into the final lap, but still part of a rolling maul of metal and motivation for the win, Rea passed Max Biaggi (Aprilia) for third. As Melandri and Haslam ran wide, trying to attack and defend the lead respectively, Rea saw his opportunity and took a tight line into the final Goddards corner. Haslam and he collided and the BMW rider fell, with his bike skittling Melandri, leaving Rea clear track to the flag to win. Biaggi was second and Sykes third.
Rea’s latest win put him third in the championship, three places higher than he started the day in. Biaggi has 128.5 points, Sykes 123.5, Rea 108 and Carlos Checa (Ducati) 105.5. Reigning champion Checa was only sixth in race one then a faller at the first corner of race two, after a collision with another rider.
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) had a much-less dramatic afternoon in England, but much work took place in practice and qualifying for a major part of weekend. He and his team had to find a new set-up to match the undulations, bumps and sweeps of Donington, after the flat-out blasts and chicanes of Monza. Aoyama was within one place of qualifying for Superpole, and in the races today he was 17th, and then a strong tenth in a race where every rider who finished scored points. This included Haslam, who pushed his machine to the finish line from the final corner and was ranked 15th. In the points Aoyama is 13th overall, with 30.5.
The next round is in America, at Miller Motorsports Park on May 28th – making it a Monday raceday.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) took his first career win in the FIM Supersport World Championship after converting a second place on the grid into a full points score. Lowes had been through some troubled times in practice after he picked up a nasty stomach infection of some kind, meaning he had been ill from Friday onwards. He then fell in second qualifying on Saturday, suffering severe injury to the small finger of his left hand and losing the chance to go for pole.
Lowes overcame the early push of pole position rider Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) and despite the coming menace of double world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) Lowes held on to win by upping the pace on the final two laps and taking himself to within five points of the championship lead.
Both Cluzel and Lowes gained from their podium finishes, with Lowes on 76 points to Sofuoglu’s 81, while Cluzel is now third overall, on 64. The French rider put his knowledge of Donington to good use and was delighted like his peers not to meet any rainy conditions, which allowed him to find a good race set-up.
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) had good early pace, but dropped out of contention as his rear lost grip and he finished fourth in the race, moving up to fifth in the championship - albeit 39 points behind the leading rider.
Seventh for Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) at Donington was result that pushed him up to seventh place overall. He was satisfied in one way as he had only qualified 11th, and is now only four points from the rider ahead.
A great ride from Valentine Debise (SMS Racing Honda) placed him eighth; with his only score of the year so far giving him eight points on one fell swoop. He had a strong ninth place in qualifying to thank for his good start, riding to sixth after one lap and keeping a good pace throughout.
Roberto Tamburini (Lorini Honda) was 11th, the last Honda rider in the points.
At his home race Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) rode to 16th, Kieran Clarke (Bogdanka Honda PTR) was 17th, and Ilario Dionisi (PRORACE Honda) was 18th. Despite a big crash in practice, Andrea Antonelli (Lorini Honda) rode on raceday and finished 22nd.
Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) and his team-mate Balazs Nemeth both failed to finish, like Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda).
|1||M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|2||L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|3||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|4||J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|5||M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|6||C. CHECA (Althea Racing)|
|7||D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)|
|8||S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|9||L. CAMIER (Fixi Crescent Suzuki)|
|10||M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)|
|11||A. BADOVINI (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)|
|12||C. DAVIES (ParkinGO MTC Racing)|
|13||M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|14||J. SMRZ Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)|
|15||E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|1||J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|2||M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)|
|3||T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|4||L. CAMIER (Fixi Crescent Suzuki)|
|5||S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)|
|6||A. BADOVINI (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)|
|7||C. DAVIES (ParkinGO MTC Racing)|
|8||L. BAZ (Kawasaki Racing Team)|
|9||P. HICKMAN (Fixi Crescent Suzuki)|
|10||H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)|
|11||N. CANEPA (Red Devils Roma)|
|12||L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)|
|13||M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)|
|14||M. AITCHISON (Grillini Progea Superbike Team)|
|15||L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)|
|1||S. LOWES (Bogdanka PTR Honda)|
|2||K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)|
|3||J. CLUZEL (PTR Honda)|
|4||B. PARKES (Ten Kate Racing Products)|
|5||G. RICHARDS (Smiths Gloucester)|
|6||S. MORAIS (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)|
|7||R. QUARMBY (PTR Honda)|
|8||V. DEBISE (SMS Racing)|
|9||B. MCCONNELL (Smiths Gloucester)|
|10||F. FORET (Kawasaki Intermoto Step)|
|11||R. TAMBURINI (Team Lorini)|
|12||A. BALDOLINI (Power Team By Suriano)|
|13||J. METCHER (Rivamoto Junior Team)|
|14||M. ROCCOLI (Bike Service - WTR Ten 10)|
|15||L. MOSSEY (Smiths Gloucester)|