2012 World Superbike
Spoiler Alert: 2012 World Superbike results from Miller Motorsports Park listed below
Following round six of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on Memorial Day Monday, the point standings became much tighter at top.
This was after two previous winners this year each took a race victory – Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa and BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri.
Race one got underway with Checa starting from sixth on the grid. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) got off the line first ahead of pole-man Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert Liberty Ducati), followed by Melandri. Sykes would hold first until the fifth lap, when Melandri took the lead.
But on lap seven, Checa, who doubled at Miller in 2011 en route to his first-ever World Superbike Championship, took the lead. He then ran smoothly, taking the checkered flag 2.313 seconds ahead of Melandri, who gave BMW its first-ever World SBK win at Donington two weeks ago. Taking the final podium position was Aprilia Team’s Max Biaggi, who was three seconds behind his fellow countryman Melandri.
Fourth and fifth went to Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR) and Biaggi’s teammate, Eugene Laverty.
In the second race, it was once again Sykes who took the early lead followed by Melandri. But Checa wasted no time, passing the two on the second lap to take the lead.
But a crash by Rea’s teammate Hiroshi Aoyama put some oil on the track, bringing out the red flag. After 90 minutes of down time, the race restarted, shortened to 18 laps. Checa again quickly took the leap, but crashed at turn five on lap six, ending his hopes for a sweep.
This gave Melandri the lead, who began a battle with Rea; Melandri would lead laps 6 through 10, and Rea 11 through 17. But on the last lap, Melandri passed Rea to take the win by 0.195 of a second. Taking the final podium position was once again Biaggi, almost two seconds behind Rea.
Parkin Go MTC Aprilia’s Chaz Davies took fourth, with Sykes in fifth.
With his two podium positions, Biaggi, the 2010 World SBK Champ, was able to retain the points lead with 160.5. But tied behind is Melandri and Sykes, each rider having 142.5 points. In fourth is Rea with 141 points, and Checa resides in fifth with 130.5 points.
2012 Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Winner Quotes:
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 Superbike) says: “Race 1 – a great result, a great race, a great moment! I’ve always had a great relationship with this track and to win here again is just fantastic, especially after some difficult recent rounds. The race wasn’t an easy one and Melandri pushed right until the end, I couldn’t relax for a second!
“But I was feeling confident with the tyre that we had chosen and was able to make a great race. I had to work hard through the corners as we seemed to be losing a lot on the straights but I am very happy with the result, and happy for the entire team that has worked so hard this weekend. In this second race I was pushing, I was feeling confident with the setting but clearly I pushed a bit too hard and lost the front. I went back on track but there was nothing I could do, I’d lost too much ground.”
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “It was such a difficult race for me. I was lucky for sure when Carlos made a mistake. I was struggling a little bit with a full fuel tank, but after 50 percent of the race it was getting better. When Johnny passed me he was much faster than me, and I lost a bit of concentration, so Max passed me and then Chaz Davies did as well.
“So I tried to stay calm, take my rhythm and try to get a good feeling to catch Johnny. I was very lucky because my engine was so strong, so I could pass him on the straight. Otherwise, for me it would have been really difficult to pass him. So a podium in race one and a win in race two is really unbelievable.”
2012 Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Results, Race 1:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati 1198)
2. Marco Melandri (BMW S1000RR)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda CBR1000RR)
5. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
6. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
7. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ZX-10R)
9. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
10. Leon Haslam (BMW)
11. Davide Giugliano (Ducati)
12. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
13. Leon Camier (Suzuki GSX-R1000)
14. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
15. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
16. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)
18. Shane Turpin (Ducati)
19. Jake Holden (BMW)
DNF Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
DNF Lorenzo Zanetti (Ducati)
DNF John Hopkins (Suzuki)
DNF David Salom (Kawasaki)
DNF Niccolo Canepa (Ducati)
2012 Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Results, Race 2:
1. Marco Melandri (BMW S1000RR)
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda CBR1000RR)
3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia RSV4)
4. Chaz Davies (Aprilia)
5. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki ZX-10R)
6. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
7. Davide Giugliano (Ducati 1198)
8. Leon Haslam (BMW)
9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
10. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
11. Leon Camier (Suzuki)
12. Michel Fabrizio (BMW)
13. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
14. Loris Baz (Kawasaki)
15. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
16. John Hopkins (Suzuki GSX-R 1000)
17. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki)
18. Jake Holden (BMW)
19. Shane Turpin (Ducati)
DNF David Salom
DNF Carlos Checa
DNF Niccolo Canepa
DNF Lorenzo Zanetti
DNF Hiroshi Aoyama
2012 World Superbike Point Standings (After six of 14 rounds):
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) 160.5
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad) 142.5
3. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad 142.5
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike) 141
5. Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) 130.5
6. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad) 103
7. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Ducati) 95
8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) 86
9. Davide Giugliano (Althea Ducati) 64
10. Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert Liberty Ducati) 61.5