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WSBK: 2012 Miller Results

Tue, 29 May 2012

Marco Melandri earned BMW its second ever World Superbike victory to move into second place in the championship standings behind Max Biaggi in the series’ only stop in the United States.

Melandri won a red-flagged Race Two at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park after finishing second to defending WSBK Champion Carlos Checa in Race One to give him 142.5 points on the season, tied with Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes but behind Aprilia‘s Biaggi who leads the way with 160.5 points.

Race One Highlights

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Sykes took the holeshot in Race One to gain an early advantage over the Althea Ducati‘s Checa, Melandri, Biaggi and Honda‘s Jonathan Rea. Sykes led the opening four laps before Melandri took over on Lap 5 with his BMW S1000RR.

American John Hopkins, returning to action for Crescent Suzuki after getting injured in a high side at the Monza round, crashed out on Lap 7, this time in a low-side. Fortunately, Hopkins was uninjured and was able to compete in Race Two.

Checa took over the lead a lap later, holding off Melandri the rest of the way to win by 2.313 seconds. Biaggi took third place after a long tussle with Rea, edging the Northern Irish racer by 0.179 seconds.

Race Two Highlights

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Race Two began with Melandri out-sprinting Sykes into the first corner but Sykes out-braked him to take the lead on the exit. Sykes led the first two laps before losing the advantage to Checa on Lap 3.

The race was stopped on the following lap however as Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama crashed, spilling oil onto the track. The clean-up effort took more than an hour and the race was re-started with 18 laps to go.

Checa lined up in the pole position at the restart and maintained the lead over the first five laps before crashing out, losing the front while trying to push too hard. Checa pulled into the pit for repairs and was able to rejoin the race but he was too far back and later withdrew from the race.

Melandri moved into the lead after Checa’s crash followed by Rea, ParkinGo Aprilia’s Chaz Davies and Biaggi. Melandri and Rea swapped the lead a few times with the surprising rookie Davies also in the mix at times.

Rea led going into the final lap but Melandri crossed the finish ahead by a 0.195-second margin. Biaggi claimed another third-place finish with Davies, a former AMA racer and 2011 World Supersport champion taking a career-best fourth place in the WSBK class.

The 2012 WSBK Championship continues June 10 at Italy’s Misano circuit with Biaggi holding an 18-point lead. Melandri, with two wins on the season, holds the tie-breaker over Sykes for second place at 142.5 points. Rea is close behind in fourth place at 141 points with Checa in fifth place at 130.5 points.

[Source: WSBK]

By Dennis Chung

See also: 2013 Honda CRF250L Dual-Sport Officially Announced for US, 2013 Honda CRF Off-Road Lineup Announced, Ducati Temporarily Suspends Production after Second Earthquake.