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WSBK: 2012 Moscow Results

Mon, 27 Aug 2012

The historic race first-ever World Superbike Championship round in Russia provided plenty of drama with several top riders crashing out of both races and a new leader emerge in the chase for the 2012 WSBK Championship.

Superpole qualifying made for four different manufacturers lining up in the first row of the grid, with Carlos Checa taking pole position for Althea Ducati ahead of Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes, Aprilia‘s Eugene Laverty and BMW rider Leon Haslam.

A slightly damp and unfamiliar track likely contributed to a number of crashes and collisions. Sykes won the first ever WSBK race in Russia while BMW’s Marco Melandri took Race Two and moved ahead of Aprilia’s Max Biaggi for the championship lead.

Race One Highlights

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Sykes has taken the Superpole in seven of 11 rounds this season but his two race victories have come when he started in the two-spot. In Moscow, Sykes led from start to finish, winning by 8.878 seconds.  Haslam and Laverty fought for second and third spots for the opening few laps when first riders began to crash.

First to go down was Sylvain Guintoli, still fresh to the PATA Racing team after splitting from Liberty Racing. Also crashing on the third lap was the reigning WSBK Champion Checa. Next to fall was Honda‘s Jonathan Rea, crashing out on Lap 10 from third position. Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano went into the gravel on lap 13 while fighting for a top five position.

Haslam bumped into ParkinGo Aprilia’s Chaz Davies while battling for second place on Lap 19. Haslam slid off the track but was able to remount while Davies managed to stay upright. The incident allowed Melandri to move into second place. Davies managed to fight his way back to a podium position before crashing out on Lap 24.

Melandri would finish second behind Sykes while Biaggi overtook his teammate Laverty on the final lap for third.

Race Two Highlights

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The skies had cleared up considerably for Race Two, but the crashes continued. Checa wheelied on the start, and Sykes took advantage to grab the holeshot. BMW Italia Goldbet’s Michel Fabrizio was the first of three riders to crash on the opening lap, going out on turn five. Also crashing on Lap 1 were Pedercini Kawasaki’s David McFadden and Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama.

Meanwhile, Laverty battled the two BMW teammates Melandri and Haslam behind Sykes. Laverty’s teammate Biaggi made a charge on Lap 9, but ran into Haslam while trying to pass Rea, knock himself and Haslam out of the race. Biaggi later apologized for Haslam, accepting blame for the crash but the real damage was to his championship hopes.

With Biaggi out of the race, Melandri took advantage of the chance to make up some ground, passing Sykes on Lap 15 to take the lead for good and win by 0.979 seconds.

Taking third place was Davies who claimed the final podium position after Laverty high-sided on the final lap, knocking down Rea and forcing Checa to brake and swerve out of the way of the fallen riders.

Melandri now leads the series with 308.5 points, taking the lead from Biaggi and his 290 points. Sykes solidified his hold on third overall with 267.5 points.

The 2012 WSBK Championship continues Sept. 9 at Germany’s Nurburgring.

[Source: WSBK]


By Dennis Chung

See also: EPA Documents Reveal 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300, 400R, Confirms 636cc Ninja ZX-6R, 2013 Ninjas in New York, GSCEs and podium finishes.