Spoiler Alert: 2012 World Superbike Championship results from the season finale at Magny-Cours, France, listed below
The 2012 World Superbike Championship wrapped up its 25th season Sunday afternoon at Magny-Cours, France.
And the title wasn’t decided until the final moments of race 2, keeping the competition as fierce as it has been throughout the 14-round 2012 World SBK season.
Though he suffered a crash during a wet race one, Aprilia Racing Team’s Max Biaggi secured the 2012 World SBK title with a fifth-place finish in race 2. This gave the Italian just enough – 0.5 of a point – to take his second World Superbike title (his other arriving in 2010 aboard the Aprilia Racing Team RSV4).
Taking second overall was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes, the Brit putting in every ounce of effort to claim a title. Sykes, who took his ninth pole of 2012 World SBK at Magny-Cours, finished third in race one, and won race 2. He put the pressure on Biaggi in race 2, but missed out by that half of point advantage Biaggi was able to retain by finishing fifth.
Third overall went to the only other rider who had a mathematical chance of winning the 2012 World SBK title heading into Magny-Cours – BMW Motorrad’s Marco Melandri. The Italian finished second in race 1, but crashed out of race 2. He would finish the season 29.5 points behind Biaggi.
In race one, the wet conditions claimed Biaggi early on, the “Roman Emperor” crashing his RSV4 on the second lap. Up front, privateer-rider Sylvain Guintoli was dominate aboard his PATA Racing Team Ducati 1198R.
Guintoli would take the win by over six seconds ahead of Melandri, and 16 seconds ahead of Sykes, who finished third. Taking fourth was Red Devils Roma Ducati’s Maxime Berger, with BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam in fifth.
The action upset Biaggi’s favorable position in the championship , and following race 1, Sykes was only 14.5 points behind Biaggi, Melandri 18.5 behind.
Biaggi had much work in race 2, and the team worked hard to get the Italian in top form for race 2. And the pressure was on considering Sykes had a great start, and was the dominate rider throughout the race.
Donning a Number 17 on his helmet in tribute to the injured Joan Lascorz, Sykes would win the race – his fourth in 2012 – ahead of Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea and Guintoli, respectively. Laverty finished fourth, followed by Biaggi. With his fifth-place finish, Biaggi took the championship from Sykes by a mere half of point. As for Melandri, he suffered a DNF due to a crash.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team RSV4 Superbike) says: “This is the fourth world championship out of six that I’ve won in the last race. I guess I must like a difficult challenge! The 2012 season was tight to say the least: we started off well winning at Phillip Island after completely revamping my team, but we also had some difficult moments.
“We definitely worked for the title and maybe that’s why it’s an even sweeter victory. I’d like to thank the Team, Aprilia and Piaggio Group, from president Colaninno to the last worker because my success is just the tip of a great Italian company’s work. I would also like to thank my family, my girlfriend Eleonora and my two children, as well as the always present Marino Laghi.”
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Superbike) says: “We were on pole, took a new circuit record, got a podium and then a win and pulled back 30 points on Max Biaggi. Not easy against a rider of his level. Yes, obviously there is a massive disappointment on one hand because we were only half a point from the world championship!
“But on the other hand, being realistic, we are very happy and we have – by far – overachieved on expectations this year. We have been very strong and I think this weekend we have been particularly strong; partly because of this Joan Lascorz replica helmet I am wearing. I have had massive support here from my family, friends and the Kawasaki fans so to sum up my year it has been fantastic. I really appreciate that Kawasaki, Provec; all the team our sponsors, Motocard, Leo Vince and all of them have put us in the situation of fighting for the world championship. Hopefully next year we can be very consistent from the start.”
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad S1000RR Superbike) says: “It felt good to finish a race on the podium again after the last two unfortunate race weekends. My BMW S 1000 RR was working very well. In the first couple of laps of race one, I was still struggling a bit with warming up the tire, but once the tire was working, I could go at quite a good pace. Anyhow, it was a tough race and I did not want to overpace and risk too much. Unfortunately the track dried up more and more which did not work in my favour. When I finally passed Tom, the track was not really wet anymore, and in these conditions I had no chance to follow Sylvain, who really showed a strong performance today.
“The track conditions were very difficult in race two. I pushed 100 per cent but I could not change direction quickly. When I crashed I must have hit a wet patch, and I lost the rear of my RR. My back and my leg are very sore now. Overall, this was a great season for us. We can be proud of what we have achieved. When we started the season we were quite far from the top guys. We closed the gap quickly and fought with them for the rest of the season. We won races, but we also had some bad luck and I made mistakes. Everything was possible this year, and we can be happy. I hope to start from that point next year. A big ‘Thank You’ to all the team in Germany and at the track.”
In the 2012 World Superbike Championship, which will enter the history books as one of the tightest finishes ever, Aprilia would win the manufacturer’s title by 23.5 points ahead of BMW.
2012 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race 1 Results:
1. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R, 23 laps
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR +6.127 seconds
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R +16.595
4. Maxime Berger (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1198R +21.857
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR +25.149
6. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR
7. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory
8. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R
9. Claudio Corti (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R
10. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R
11. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR
12. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR
13. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR
RT. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000
RT. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R
RT. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR
RT. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R
RT. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory
RT. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory
2012 Magny-Cours World Superbike Race 2 Results:
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R, 23 laps
2. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR, +1.354 seconds
3. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing) Ducati 1198R, +2.393
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV-4 +13.122
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV-4 +13.955
6. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R
7. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1198R
8. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV-4
9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Italia Goldbet) BMW S1000RR
10. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Team) Suzuki GSX-R1000
11. Maxime Berger (Red Devils Team) Ducati 1198R
12. Claudio Corti (Pedercini Kawasaki) Kawasaki ZX-10R
13. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1198R
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR
15. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Team) BMW S1000RR
RT. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad) BMW S1000RR
RT. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Italia Goldbet) BMW S1000RR
RT. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad) BMW S1000RR
RT. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R
DNS: John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent) Suzuki GSX-R1000
DNS: Alexander Lundh (Pedercini Kawasaki) Kawasaki ZX-10R
2012 World Superbike Final Point Stadings:
1. Max Biaggi, Aprilia Racing 358 points
2. Tom Sykes, Kawasaki Racing 357.5
3. Marco Melandri, BMW Motorrad 328.5
4. Carlos Checa, Althea Ducati 287.5
5. Jonathan Rea, Honda WSBK 278.5
6. Eugene Laverty, Aprilia Racing 263.5
7. Sylvain Guintoli, Effenbert Liberty Ducati/PATA Ducati 213.5
8. Leon Haslam, BMW Motorrad 200
9. Chaz Davies, ParkinGO MTC Aprilia 164.5
10. Davide Giugliano, Althea Ducati 143
11. Michel Fabrizio, BMW Italia GoldBet 137.5
12. Ayrton Badovini, BMW Italia GoldBet 133
13. Loris Baz, Kawasaki Racing 122
14. Leon Camier, FIXI Crescent Suzuki 115.5
15. Jakub Smrz, Liberty Effenbert Ducati 92.5
16. Maxime Berger, Effenbert Liberty Ducati/Red Devils Ducati 92
17. Lorenzo Zanetti, PATA Ducati 68
18. Hiroshi Aoyama, Honda WSBK 61.5
19. John Hopkins, Crescent Fixi Suzuki 44
20. Niccolo Canepa, Red Devils Roma Ducati 42.5
21. David Salom, Pedercini Kawasaki 22
22. Brett McCormick, Effenbert Liberty Ducati 19
23. Joan Lascorz, Kawasaki Racing 17
24. Claudio Corti, Pedercini Kawasaki 11
25. Norino Brignola, Grillini Progea BMW 10
26. Leandro Mercado, Pedercini Kawasaki 9
27. Matteo Baiocco, Barni Ducati/Red Devils Ducati 8
28. Lorenzo Lanzi, Effenbert Liberty Ducati 8
29. Alexander Lundh, Pedercini Kawasaki 8
30. Peter Hickman, FIXI Crescent Suzuki 7
31. Bryan Staring, Pedercini Kawasaki 6
32. Alex Polita, Red Devils Roma Ducati 4
33. Mark Aitchison, Grillini Progea BMW 3
34. Josh Brookes, FIXI Crescent Suzuki 1
2012 World Superbike Championship Final Manufacturer Standings:
1. Aprilia, 444.5 points
2. BMW, 421
3. Ducati, 416
4. Kawasaki, 397.5
5. Honda, 293
6. Suzuki, 136.5