2012 Donington World Superbikes: An Exciting Weekend Of Hard Racing

Donington Park is renowned for giving fans exciting races. 48,500 of them turned up over the weekend to brave the cold wind and watch the most exciting racing Superbike races of the year. Crashes, surprises, upsets and spills were the order of the day while history was made and old enmities revisited.

The weekend started on Thursday with a white water rafting experience at Holme Pierrepont watersports centre. Leon Haslam, Chaz Davies, Eugene Laverty and Sam Lowes all messed about in a dinghy while facing the artificial rapids. Every one of the racers fell in at some point and Sam Lowes may have ingested the local water and contracted food poisoning that ravaged his insides and threatened to ruin his weekend.

Luckily, as can be seen in the World Supersport results, this was not the case, and he took his first victory and cemented his second place in the championship, five points behind the fast Turk Kenan Sofuoglu and eight points ahead of the equally fast Frenchman Jules Cluzel. Fabien Foret drops to fourth place ahead of the Australian Broc Parkes after a terrible weekend where qualifying and racing were difficult for the Frenchman.

James Toseland was inducted into the World Superbike hall of fame along with his manager Roger Burnett, first man to get pole position in World Superbikes, 25 years ago at Donington Park.

Race one opened with Leon Haslam taking his unique sweeping line through the pit exit towards turn one to overtake Tom Sykes on the outside for the lead. This wide entrance was tried by Marco Melandri following his BMW team mate and later in the race, once he understood how Leon was using it, he used that knowledge to pass Leon on the inside on his way to taking BMW's first World Superbikes race victory. With both BMW riders jubilant in Parc Fermé about their 1-2 finish, a second BMW podium was expected by everyone. However, Jonathan Rea, in his determination to win his second race of the year, took a hard line through Goddards, the hairpin that leads onto the start/finish straight. Three riders went into the corner at the same time and it was Rea on the inside that clipped Leon Haslam who in turn skittled Marco Melandri and both BMW riders lowsided to the grass. While blame will most probably be thrown at either Rea or Haslam, what happened was a racing incident.

In both races today, the Esses, the Melbourne Loop and Goddards were all the scenes of plenty of firm passes and a slight bump in the track on the approach to Goddards put extra weight onto the front as the rear wheel was thrown up under braking more than usual. While all the riders had learned the intricacies of Donington, the amount of hard passes and revenge block-passes must have made things more tricky than usual.

In particular, Max Biaggi performed an oyster-shucking pass on Marco Melandri that seemed to be by far the hardest pass of the weekend, although some of Rea's passes could compete, and it didn't take long for Melandri to return the favour, pushing Biaggi wider than usual, followed by a humorous little apologetic wave. No quarter was given and none expected in either race, so an exciting finish involving spreading carbon fibre across the exit to the last corner was no surprise to anyone.

This wouldn't be the only crashes in race two, with only fifteen riders finishing the race, one of whom was Leon Haslam who eased his stricken BMW across the line over a minute after the crash, ending with a point and last place. Other crashers were the Ducatis of Carlos Checa, Davide Giugliano and Jakub Smrz who all got tangled up in a turn one crash on the opening lap. Eugene Laverty, the likely cause of the incident, was able to not get collected by the three Ducatis, but he fell victim to Craner Curves and a very fast crash similar to his qualifying spill of last year.

Loris Baz, replacement for injured Joan Lascorz, was able to place a respectable 8th place in race two, even though he didn't finish the first race. He scored more points on the day than the other replacement riders with Peter Hickman finishing one place behind Baz in race two and Gary Mason finishing neither race.

Donington Park reminds us why we love the World Superbike championship. Close racing that was decided on the last lap in both races and a Supersport race that almost matched them in excitement. With the wet weekends we've had in mainland Europe, it fell to England, notorious for its rain, to give us a dry weekend of racing and Donington Park delivered.

Race Details
Round Number: 
5
2012

Comments

You have ......

.... brought it to life for me Squire.

I shall enjoy watching these when I get home.

Many thanks.

Total votes: 29

Brilliant stuff *spoiler*

What an excellent couple of Superbike races, really entertaining, closely fought, and drama at the end of race two.

The although the 1st reaction was to blame Jonathon Rea for collecting Haslam then Melandri at the last corner, the pundits were right in pointing out that really it was Melandri's lunge on Haslam at the Loop that set it all up, such a shame he made a 2nd very desperate lunge at Haslam at the last bend as this set the crash up by pushing Haslam wide, robbing Leon of this 1st BMW win by leaving the gap for Rea. Leon picked his bike up and pushed it down the straight and over the line; what a geezer!

We were out of our seats, excellent stuff, and the loveable Biaggi got a 2nd place out of it.

Good to see BMW making headway, this championship needs manufacturers to be interested in competing; win on the Sunday, sell it on Monday...

Total votes: 29

Unfair on Marco

You blame Marco for 'setting it up', that's not reasonable at all. If Marco's lunge on Haslam was desperate, what could you describe Rea's? Nigh-on insane, maybe?

Hard racing results in racing incidents, that's just how it is.

Total votes: 43

I'm sorry!

I'm only repeating what the very experienced ex champion racers on Eurosport said; and after consideration and watching it again, I agreed with them.

I now think that was very weak willed of me and after further consideration, I agree with you entirely sir. I apologise for my very naive and ill considered post, and promise never to do something so utterly impertinent ever again.

Total votes: 29

It's a racing incident...

...but if there was someone to blame (a moot point), that would clearly be Johnny Rea, IMHO.

Here's the highlights of Race-2: http://youtu.be/vUDV6rbxruU

...judge for yourself...

I think it shows how much these guys want to win and, sometimes, some get too eager and go a little too far, over what is considered "correct" or "fair", if we go "by the book", as in gentlemen racing. Sometimes such bold manouver works, sometimes it doesn't.
When it doesn't, and (in)directly affects other rider (and not the supposed culprit) it gets noticed, and perhaps turns as controversial. In this case it's not clear that happens. Debatable at most?

It's been like this in WSBK since it started. More obvious in some seasons than others, more are the front positions or more at the back.
The fans like it and I also subscribe, so long as rules are there to work and punish culprits when things go too far. This time though, and if I had to, I really don't know how I would judge that move by Rea.
In anycase, it was once again an exciting weekend for WSBK, it continuously "looks" a LOT more fierce and competitive than MotoGP.

As a side note, as someone that considers Donington Park as "needed furniture in the house of racing", I'm very happy to see the days of despair and miserable conditions (it almost disappeared) are gone. Thank the gods (and good people!) for that.

Total votes: 29

And this opens the door to BMW MotoGP?

So do Beemer make good on their wish to enter MotoGP after winning?

Total votes: 22

Title not race?

I thought they wanted a title before entering, not just a race.

Total votes: 22

Great.

Great racing from first corner to the last. A pity that it had to end like that for Haslam and Melandri, it would have tightened up the championship even more.

Total votes: 26

Why go to MotoGP?

*Fart noise with a thumbs down* Its boring and unless you have 8 figures to invest every year, I dont think it offers the best return on investment. BMW has proven that with their entry in WSBK. The S1000RR sells well and now its a race winning bike.

Races like these 2 are examples of why I prefer WSBK to MotoGP. I generally end up fast forwarding through a GP race after the first few laps unless their is an actual race going on between more than 2 riders.

These races showed MotoGP what it is missing. Exciting racing!!!! 4 manufacturers in the top 5 for the whole race!?!?!?! Passes every lap!!?!?!?! Stoner can take his multi-trillion dollar prototype, check out and win by 7 seconds every race and keep it. Same with who ever does the same in GP. Personally I cant wait until some of the "less talented" GP riders check out and go to WSBK. Hayden, Spies, Edwards with another run maybe, Ellison. These guys are getting sub par results for their skill set and would be better served in WSBK I think.

Total votes: 38

Why go to MotoGP?

If you prefer reserve grade, enjoy!
Personally I get my kicks watching the best riders on the best bikes.

Total votes: 45

why not? motogp is the premier class

why not? for my own opinion all these riders dreaming of riding in motogp where you can ride the best bike in the world. I would love to see leon riding factory bmw in motogp in the future. Wsbk is great with a lot of passes and great race but you won't deny that motogp is the premier class of mc.

Total votes: 26

Thats cool

I prefer to watch racing. Not time trials or hot laps. I can see guys at my local track do that. The "bike" isnt the interesting part of the equation for me. The competition amongst riders is. To each his own though.

Total votes: 38

7 seconds? And how big were

7 seconds? And how big were the winning margins at Phillip Island, San Marino and Monza this year? And a lot of other WSBK races the last couple of years?

Nothing wrong with being a fan of WSBK if that's what turns you on. I watch the races myself. But personally, if forced to make a choice, I'd rather watch Stoner riding at the limit on a MotoGP bike, knowing that I am watching something very special, rather than watching a bunch of B graders playing at dodgem cars at Donington.

Total votes: 39

Yes, time trials are indeed very special

Like I said above, if thats your thing, then cool. At the end of the day, I dont care how technologically advanced the bike is or how fast it is. Im not watching racing to watch a bunch of guys run time trials and set new lap records. If they can run hot laps while fighting for positions up front, then great, but by themselves its boring and predictable.

Total votes: 39

wsbk is great but...

Yes, you don't see "action" like that during a MotoGP race. But let me point something out - the only reason we saw all the action was because of mistakes. Leon, Marco, Biaggi, and Rea were all running wide, going through the gravel trap, missing braking points, missing apexes, running off track through the dirt, etc. If they were in a MotoGP race they would have been lucky to finish 10th. You don't see the number of mistakes that you saw today in a MotoGP race and most definitely not by the guys running in the front. Jonny Rea ran wide and off track, was multiple seconds behind and caught up to the pack because they were tripping each other up. If this was MotoGP he would have been dead in the water wouldn't have had a prayer of catching the front runners after a mistake like that. The front runners today were making mistake after mistake lap after lap - you don't see that in MotoGP.

Total votes: 35

I'm flattered BUT

The next time you cut and paste a post of mine EXACTLY WORD FOR WORD off another site you could at least give me SOME credit for it!

Total votes: 31

Exactly. The WSBK guys are

Exactly. The WSBK guys are making more mistakes in a single race than the top MotoGP guys make in a full season. And that is just what is to be expected at lower skill levels.

Total votes: 33

MotoGP is boring because...

You dont see "action" like you saw in WSBK because plain and simple there arent enough fast bikes to go around in GP and the GP teams like to play the #1 and #2 rider card a little bit too much. The other reason you talk about, mistakes. Anyone who has ever riden a bike on a track knows that its much easier ride smooth and not make mistakes when you are out on the track alone with no one around you. You have your choice of lines, no pressure other than what you put on yourself. The complete lack of competition is what creates the lack of "mistakes." Start dicing it up with 4 other guys for 23 laps and mistakes are bound to happen because you have to take chances to move up a position. At the same time you also have to ride knowing that you can go from 2nd to 5th in a matter of a corner or 2. Put 5 GP bikes racing together for that long and I guarantee you will see more "mistakes." Running by yourself, you usually tuck the front end.

Total votes: 42

Have you watched MotoGP this year??

The margin of victory in the first 2 races were less than a second and in Estoril it was 1.4 sec. That isn't "out on the track alone with no one around you" - that's someone up your tail pipe. At Estoril from lap 2 to the end of the race on lap 28 Casey banged out 1'37's EVERY lap - and Jorge was right behind him banging out consistent laps as well. They didn't make any mistakes not because they were "riding alone" but because they are the best in the world. The top WSBK boys made more mistakes in 1 weekend than you will see the top MotoGP guys make all year. They are inch perfect lap after lap not missing braking points or apexes because they are the best - not because a lack of competition or because they are "out on the track alone".

Total votes: 27

why not...

Yes, you don't see "action" like that during a MotoGP race. But let me point something out - the only reason we saw all the action was because of mistakes. Leon, Marco, Biaggi, and Rea were all running wide, going through the gravel trap, missing braking points, missing apexes, running off track through the dirt, etc. If they were in a MotoGP race they would have been lucky to finish 10th. You don't see the number of mistakes that you saw today in a MotoGP race and most definitely not by the guys running in the front. Jonny Rea ran wide and off track, was multiple seconds behind and caught up to the pack because they were tripping each other up. If this was MotoGP he would have been dead in the water wouldn't have had a prayer of catching the front runners after a mistake like that. The front runners today were making mistake after mistake lap after lap - you don't see that in MotoGP.

Total votes: 30

Laverty the likely cause?

From the highlights on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUDV6rbxruU&list=FLqPGNP49bAa3ByDI6x2ae3A...), it looks like Laverty was hit very hard from behind by Checa who subsequently picked up 2 other bikes before going off track. Don't see how it was Lavertys fault? Good report other than that. Looked like good racing, was so close all weekend

Total votes: 21

Actually if you look Laverty

Actually if you look Laverty almost goes into the back of a BMW (I think Melandri?) so has had to take evasive action himself. I think just a racing incident, and unfortunately for Checa the problem of starting from 9th and entering the first corner surrounded on all sides by other riders.

Total votes: 34

Turn one

Laverty hit the brakes to miss another bike and Checa had to avoid him and lost the front because of it. Thats racing, though.

Total votes: 26

See what I mean....?

DK could not have said it better, and it's actually what I've been stating since the beginning of this racing season!!
I'll say it again with authority, WSBK is better racing to watch than GP at the moment, and I do not see anything changing my "opinion" in the foreseeable future!

Mr. Motogpmd,
You asked for it and you got it, so here goes...
Did YOU watch the pair of WSBK races this weekend?!
Hmm, need I ask or say more?!

Cheers

Total votes: 36

Yes, they were good races,

Yes, they were good races, although unfortunately spoiled by a couple of bone headed moves in the second race. Doesn't alter the fact that there has been many processional races won by big margins in WSBK in the last couple of years. Take a look at Phillip Island this year for example. The gap first to second was much bigger in both races than anything seen in MotoGP this year. Much the same at Imola and Monza. Assen was very wet so not a typical race weekend. And the fact that a 40 year old and a thirty nine year old who lost their places in MotoGP a long while ago are able to run at the front of WSBK says a lot about the level of skills in WSBK. Just ask ex WSBK riders Spies or Crutchlow which series has the best riders in the world. It sure ain't WSBK.

Put Stoner and Lorenzo on those top bikes in WSBK and they'd ride off into the distance, the same as they do in MotoGP. And remember 250cc rider Simoncelli making a one off appearance at San Marino and showing Biaggi a clean pair of heels? On an Aprillia custom built for Biaggi.

If you want to see plenty of thrills and spills and close racing it's easy enough to find in lower classes where skill levels are less, like your local speedway. But some of us prefer to watch the best of the best, riding the fastest road racing motorcycles on the planet. That's MotoGP.

Total votes: 58

+1

Well said.

Total votes: 30

spot on...

very weel said sir. Motogp is the best of the best. Wsbk is great no doubt but if u want the best riders and bikes then it must be motogp.

Total votes: 26

Rrriiiiighhht...

Best of the best... like Karel Abraham, and next year, Bradley Smith?

A lot of the time, more than cream rises to the top.

Maybe a better way of saying it is.... top 4-5 riders, and some other guys who may or may not deserve to be there.

You can rest assured a few guys in WSBK would do better than a lot of the field in MotoGP... for example, Melandri NOT on a Ducati.

So where's that leave you?

Total votes: 27

Of course we are taking about

Of course we are taking about the top guys. Stoner, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi versus Biaggi, Checa, Melandri, Haslam, Rea, Laverty, Sykes. Biaggi, Checa and Melandri are known quantities because all three spent a long time in MotoGP. All three were ultimately found wanting against the best in MotoGP, so they dropped down to the next level, and found success there. Those three guys running at the front of WSBK tells us all we need to know about the relative skill level of the two classes.

Total votes: 24

Fair enough...

Fair enough...

Total votes: 23

Disagree

Everyone thought the same of Melandri and Biaggi went they to WSBK, that they would clean up with their superior "skill set." Reality is that it takes a different set of skills and clearly a larger set of chestnuts to race in WSBK than it does in MotoGP. Make a stiff pass and its off to the stewards and bad mouthing in the press for you in GP! WSBK, hey thats racing. Be faster so you dont get passed. One of the best things about the GPs last year was when Simo was riding all out like he was on a WSBK instead of a GP bike and not caring if he rubbed his competition the wrong way. Id venture that Stoner and Lorenzo would not fair as well as you think they would in WSBK. They are used to only having to deal with a multitude of other racers for a lap or 2. If either of them were involved in a 23 lap shoot out like we saw at Donnington, I think they would make a few more mistakes than they normally do. Pressure and competition, the very things missing in GP racing, account for that.

And Simo showing Biaggi a clean pair of heels was Simo crashing out of race 1 and then in race 2 beating Biaggi by less than 1 second? Thats showing someone a clean pair of heels? More like Biaggi still working the bugs out of a brand new for that year bike, KNOWING that he had more races and a future on the bike. Or he could have been beat straight up. I dont know. But < 1 second? Really?

Total votes: 30

Go on DK

Well put, I agree with your "disagree" post 100%, as well as your others, very similar to my opinions towards what kind of racing deserves to be watched!

Cheers!

Total votes: 32

If you think the pressure and

If you think the pressure and competition in WSBK is higher than MotoGP then you should talk to Spies and Crutchlow. They have stated that the intensity is much higher in MotoGP. Also that the top MotoGP riders are the best riders in the world. And MotoGP are the most difficult bikes to ride. It's just nonsense to say that the skill set is different, it's just that the level in MotoGP at the front is higher, as it should be.

Seriously, Biaggi is 40 years old, and still running at the front of the WSBK field. No offence to Max, who is a very accomplished rider, but that tells you all you need to know about the level and intensity of WSBK.

I agree with you that Stoner and Lorenzo would be closer to the other guys in WSBK, but that's because WSBKs are easier to ride (as Spies and Crutchlow have told us), so lesser riders have a better chance of being competitive.

And perhaps you forget that the top guys in MotoGP spent years in lower classes and in other forms of motorcycle racing banging fairings and crashing into each other as juniors. A rider just doesn't get on a works MotoGP bike without having "big chestnuts" and paying his dues in lower classes.

My point about MS is that he was a 250 rider who had never raced the bigger bikes in either format, yet he was still was able to beat Biaggi in a one off appearance. One second is a decent margin in motorcycle racing.

I am not trying to knock WSBK, but it's a second level series, and trying to put it on the same level as MotoGP is absurd. Does anyone with any real expertise in motorcycle racing seriously think that WSBK champion Checa is at the same skill level as MotoGP champion Stoner?

MotoGP absolutely needs more competitive teams and riders, so that there is more close racing, at least in the second group, but that's tough to achieve. Honda and Yamaha have been honing their bikes in this class for decades, and they have had some of the best riders in history helping develop their bikes: like Lawson, Rainey, Doohan, Rossi, Stoner and Lorenzo. It would be very tough for someone like BMW to enter MotoGP. They found it tough enough in WSBK against the established makes, and MotoGP is the big time, another level entirely. But it will be great if they do enter the premier series, along with Suzuki, even if the technical specs have to be dumbed down a bit to reduce costs.

Total votes: 22

Max is 40, i guess he's washed up

If I recall, hailwood was 38 when he won the TT after not racing for 11 years. Max's problem has always been his head.
as far as the rest goes, WSBK is simply exciting racing, and the motogp has become dull as dishwater. My wife was a huge motogp fan for a few years, but stoner's constant complaints about the track here, or that someone was to hard, or in his line, or towing him, or any other whines turned her off on him regardless of how good a rider he is. She hasn't watched more than 3 laps of a motogp race since the middle of last year.
I sat her down and she watched both WSBK races all the way to the end, and said "now, that's racing"

You see the problem? there aren't enough "purists" to keep the sport alive. WSBK has managed to do whatever it needed to to keep the bikes on relative parity, and that is what creates exciting racing.

Total votes: 28

Max Biaggi is not Mike

Max Biaggi is not Mike Hailwood, and we are not talking about the TT, we are talking about professional world championship circuit racing in the modern era. If you think someone like Mike Hailwood could step onto a modern GP bike after 11 years of not racing and win a GP you really are fooling yourself. Look at Rossi, undoubtedly one of the all time greats, struggling at Ducati. It's a different world.

I could also mention 39 year old WSBK champion Checa, who did very little in MotoGP. Or Melandri, whose MotoGP career was comprehensively destroyed by his team mate Stoner in 2008.

But really, I am not trying to knock those guys, who are decent enough riders, especially Biaggi, but they are just not in the same league as the top MotoGP guys.

And as I said, there has been a lot of processional races in WSBK in the last couple of years, but the MotoGP knockers conveniently choose to forget that.

As for your claim that your wife stopped watching MotoGP because of Stoner, well frankly I find that completely bizarre. I can think of other more colorful ways to describe it, but I shall refrain. Each to his or her own I guess.

Total votes: 24

I can only assume you don't understand the point

The point was as soon as it was obvious stoner was running away with the race in his "rabbit out front" racing technique, then she had no further interest in watching the also rans in their assigned positions.
While i am on the point of skills in the relative series, cal Crutchlow(who i think is a brilliant rider) finished no higher than 5th in world superbike racing, and garnered a total of 3 wins in 26 starts.
There are maybe 6 of the motogp riders who could hack the close agressive style in world superbike. The remainder are there because they are paying for a ride in the show and would fold up like origami in tight aggessive racing.

As for Checa, the rules in world superbike have always favored Ducati. His record in Motogp is certainly better than Edwards, who has hung on to factory and satelitte teams until this year.

Total votes: 25

I disagree

Anyone who successfully went through the good old 250cc must have had more than enough hard racing and hard passing lessons served and learned.

Not that they are all road warriors, but being in the midle of fights won't be knew and unheard of for them.

Total votes: 20

Quote from Swiftnick - "I'm

Quote from Swiftnick - "I'm only repeating what the very experienced ex champion racers on Eurosport said; and after consideration and watching it again, I agreed with them."

I think if that had been someone other than a Brit they might have been a bit less lenient on Rea. :)

He did at least 4 hard/questionable moves during that race:
- A block on Melandri at Melbourne, even Whitham said he was late entering the corner they almost went down.
- chopped Biaggi's nose at the esses, again they could easily both have gone down
- almost took out Biaggi again on the penultimate corner.
- Perhaps most importantly, hit Haslam on the final corner. Now you could say 'racing incident' but look at what happened going into that corner. Melandri had a ridiculously acute angle going in and broke far too late - Haslam sees him going through the inside and so takes the slightly wider line in to hit a late apex and go back underneath Melandri who is heading out towards the car park. Rea dives down the inside, but even he misses the apex. These guys race so much he MUST have known that Haslam would pull it back and then they would collide. After that, its a roll of the dice concerning who stays upright, and this time it was Rea. But, the point is I think he was prepared to risk all to push his way into the lead.

I'm not saying other moves were not questionable, and Melandri was breaking from far too far back to ever hit that corner, but Haslam was in a position to see him come flying through and simply cut back underneath him. Rea's move was far more dangerous - Haslam was already committed to that apex and unsighted of Rea's charge - and IMO the reason the BMW's didn't finish.

Total votes: 21

Melandri - the club racer

If I were the BMW boss I would still be kicking Melandri's arse around the garage now. It was like watching a club racer who couldn't think past the next 30 yards of track. IM(H)O Rae rides 'positively' (as in rebutting Biaggi's attempt at the chicane) but is completely controlled, and was actually taking the racing line inside of the 2 scrapping BMWs when Leon headed back onto it. Rae had to take to the grass at the same place a few laps previously to avoid taking someone down after another kamikaze attack in front of him.

I have not seen/heard any comment from Haslam - he may still be too angry to talk, and once calmed down is too professional to comment (in public), but I bet he sees it the way Johnny did. I'll bet Ron was spewing too. What a shame for Leon and BMW.

I used to like Melandri, but his 'style' of putting himself inside other riders VERY late in the corner has been commented on by several knowledgeable people this year, and he just looks desperate now. Someone have a word in his ear, please?

Total votes: 28

Haslam say's no blame on Rea,

Haslam say's no blame on Rea, he didn't say quite the same about Melandri

Total votes: 27

Win with an *

Maybe it should have been a half-points win. Rea rode like it was a motocross race. Reminded me of using other riders for "berms".His entire last lap was sort of a disregard for everybody else. Well at least it wasn't raining and it really was some good racing. It was a lot better than the last two boat races.

Total votes: 29

Yikes

Toss up if i were only allowed to watch one race weekend per season. Moto2 or SBK.

Watching people with something to prove and the sheer desire to scrap is a pleasure not found in the premiere class.

I also dont seem to recall any cries for team orders this early on.

Only stirring the pot, but Dorna can keep MotoGP.

Total votes: 33

I don't know

who to blame, if there must be blame. But that was like dropping a bleeding cow in a river full of piranhas. Awesome.

Total votes: 29

I just don't care

If Stoner's the best in the world (and I think he is, closely followed by George), but I can only wish MotoGP was as entertaining as Moto2 and what I saw yesterday.

Total votes: 26

Checa

Has it gone under everyone's radar that he is NOT comfortably leading the season after those three wins on the trot? It's looking a lot closer than expected.

OTOH, he was very lucky Monza wasn't a simple pair of dry and straightforward races.

Total votes: 21

Since the start of the season

Since the start of the season there has been much speculation on the existence of a prize money for the 1st man who brought victory in a WSB race for BMW. From what i saw this weekend I wonder if it doesn't exist also a FAT prize for the 1st double win. The 2 races were awsome to watch and i believe that this level of tight competition in WSB is due to the parity in performance of the machines although you will always have the ocasional rabbit escape.
Rider of the WE - Leon Haslam inspite of all the badluck.
In the 1st race without that "mistake" near the end, i belive he would've baged it (did i dreamed or i heard Leon mention that Melandri brake-tested him going into the Esses??). In the 2 races Melandri looked like the best man on the brakes, but come on... those last 2 corners atempts?? On your team mate?? 1st and 2nd?? "i had to try it"?? Marco, i think you just lost a friend. It was not only him that lost time in those manouvres, Haslam lost as well by taking a more defensive posture (it's very clear in the atempt at Melbourne Loop) that Rea was able to recover ground to, in my opinion, make an agressive but honest (he wasn't out of control and was taking the racing line) pass on Haslam, who probably didn't dreamed that would be under attack. As for Johny's moves, i completely agree with "team-myers" comment: the only over optimistic atempt that he made in my book was one, on Melandri on the Esses. How was the description on one of Scott Jones pics from Moto2 race from Portugal: "No quarter given, nor asked for". Keep it honest.

Total votes: 21

Why choose?

I watch and love both MotoGP and WSBK. Hell, I even watch AMA racing.

WSBK/AMA riders are definitely not as patient as MotoGP riders - if they see an opening they'll try to stick their bike in there for a pass, while MotoGP seems to be like a game of chess with riders planning their passes carefully. It's still nice to see them dice it up from time to time and get aggressive :)

IMO BMW definitely deserved the double this weekend, and it's a little sad that after all that awesome racing/scrapping in Race 2 that BMW only managed 1 point between the 2 riders. Rea also made contact with Melandri on the first or 2nd lap at the Melbourne Hairpin.

Total votes: 36

Radicalization like Soccer

Everyone have their preferences about the quality of both series, but seriously thinking than One series is better than another is like argue about what soccer team is better, Motorcycle Racing is in general, it's pointless argue about what series is best, because both series have it's defects, and if we start to point one by one of the defect seriously a page would be created listing all the defects both series are.

Ill always try to saw GP races, SBK, Shanghai GP, Isle of Man, Ulrich GP and what all have in common is the adrenaline, that sense of speed, like flying in the earth is unique. of course than is more dangerous yes is more dangerous but it's more exciting.

Enjoy the racing of bike in every way possible, arguing about everything of different series it's useless.

It's better be fan of Motorcycle Racing in GENERAL, than a Radical Fanatic of one series. that's all

Total votes: 37

MotoGP =Boring

Lot's of snobbery here, these "B grade riders" on their inferior bikes
are within 0.5 sec a lap, nobody knows how Stoner would fare in WSBK, I doubt he could handle the banzai passing we saw in Donington. But if you prefer seeing processional lapping in MotoGP, enjoy.

Total votes: 33

Rossi even tweeted

that MotoGP is dull (translated via Google)

What kind of a Superbike race got brawl, all good, shame about the BMW last corner.
https://twitter.com/#!/ValeYellow46/status/201691696344465409

Unfortunately, our races have become much more tedious.
https://twitter.com/#!/ValeYellow46/status/201691835536642049

Total votes: 33

B class riders

so funny that some of you call the sbk riders b class compared to motogp.

don't forget that many of them owned the latest motogp "alien" crutchlow in 2010.

just be happy that we saw a great race!!!

Total votes: 34

Crutchlow is not an alien,

Crutchlow is not an alien, not anywhere near. After a very patchy 2011, he has recognised his shortcomings and applied himself well, learning from the top guys in MotoGP, and has shown some promise this year, and long may it continue. Spies owned the WSBK boys in 2009 in his first and only WSBK year, and look at how he is struggling in MotoGP.

It was an entertaining race, marred an amazing number of rider errors, which is why it stayed so close. If the BMW guys had half a brain they would have worked together to pull away in the last race. Instead they kept falling over each other, and ultimately paid the price. If I was BMW I would be furious with them for their stupidity, especially Melandri.

Total votes: 41

We dont seem to remember 2009 WSBK season quite the same...

As much as I love Ben Spies, he most certainly did NOT own the WSBK boys in 2009. 6 point difference by seasons end is an owning? Spies won by putting together a remarkable season, which was riff with problems, including running out of fuel, and a punting off the first corner of the first race and won when Haga gifted him the championship a couple times. If i remember, didnt Haga also break his foot and have to ride injured at some point during the season? Spies simply took advantage of it. Haga had his will and professional "back" broken by Spies who just out worked him, plain and simple.

I still dont understand this reasoning that the rider mistakes and errors some how detract from the racing. If there were no mistakes made, why even run the race? Whoever won pole should just get the 25 points. I mean, thats how it would work if no mistakes were ever made right? If everyone rode perfectly during qualifying, then they would be placed exactly where their skills and bike combination allow them to be and thats that. Forget the race. Its just a waste of resources. Mistakes are what make racing exciting. Thats why you run the race.

BTW, im not picking on you, you just bring up alot of good points that Id like to address. I think Ive responded to 3 or 4 of your posts.

Total votes: 32

The point about Spies was

The point about Spies was that he was new to the WSBK series, he had never seen most of the tracks, and he had some real bad luck. In saying that he "owned" the WSBK boys I was just responding to the use of term in another post. I do not usually use exaggerated language like that. Personally I was very disappointed to see Haga throw it all away that year, I hoped he would win it, but sadly he never did.

Regarding the mistakes in racing, I guess we have different a perspective. Mistakes create entertainment of a certain kind I guess. Some people thought the last corner of WSBK at Donington was entertaining, I though it was complete stupidity. I want to watch the best of the best racing, guys who can run at maximum pace for a race without a visible mistake, guys who can do something truly special with a motorcycle. The more skillful the rider the fewer the mistakes he makes. One of the reasons that Rossi was dominant for so long was that he made very few mistakes, and a lot less than guys like Biaggi and Gibernau.

It simple wrong to say that mistakes are needed to create racing. Bikes with different characteristics at different parts of the track create opportunities for overtaking, it doesn't need rider mistakes. Slip streaming creates overtaking. The different ways bikes and riders use their tires creates overtaking opportunities. What MotoGP is trying to do now is to find a formula that creates closer racing, and that's the key, getting the formula right. Relying on the top riders at MotoGP level to make mistakes is never going to work. But regardless, sometimes a rider appears who is so dominant that there isn't much racing at the front. But then some people whinge about the racing rather than appreciating supreme talent, and to me that is disappointing.

Total votes: 27

Rossi made few mistakes? Come on.

What? Now you are just making things up. Rossi made loads of mistakes, but managed to recover from them and ekk out a win anyway. It was his recovery skills, racecraft, and his remarkable run without serious injury that caused his lengthy victory run. In fact, had he not injured his shoulder in a motocross accident in 2010, i doubt he would have wrecked in Mugello, or been pressured to transfer his income to lorenzo, resulting in his time in the black hole which is Ducati.
but that is all shoulda coulda.

Total votes: 16

Haslam already.....

Just would like to point out a fact that a previous poster had stated.
I read someone suggest that the only rider racing with the "b" class of riders (give me a break) in WSBK that may have a shot at riding with the GP boys might be Leon Haslam.

Sir, you obviously must be new to the sport of motorcycle racing.

Leon Haslam already had his shot at GP racing at a very young age back in 2001, on a Honda NSR 500 two stroke. Needless to say, he didn't fare very well.

On another note, I'm glad to see that Valentino shares the same opinion as myself, along with a few other fellow fans on motomatters. Please save your time by not posting, "he's saying that because he's not winning". Dorna is losing viewers due to it's dull/boring racing that is literally putting people to sleep!

Total votes: 32

Thanks, Mike, but you don't

Thanks, Mike, but you don't get to dictate the nature of responses your posts might generate. If you don't want to see responses to your "Vali and I have said it so it must be true post", don't post in the first place and save us all some reading time.

Total votes: 33

YOU don't get....

Thanks for the reply Rabid, but YOU don't get to " assume" the nature of anything that you read in posts! It's unfortunate that you misinterpreted what I wrote as to mean I don't want anyone to post a response. I was anticipating what I have read in previous posts, that Vale might be sour due to the fact he is not winning at the moment. It's apparent that you may not agree with the majority of what I wrote in my post about WSBK/GP. In the future, instead of commenting on insignificant details in a post you do not like, state your opinion directly.
Keep in mind, one should never assume! Assuming, for example, is like jumping to a conclusion that one would prefer to watch Casey on his billion dollar machine drop the hammer after three laps, check out, and win by 7 seconds. Then again, if you rather watch that, it's your prerogative.

Total votes: 37

You must have hated Vale's Repsol years.

When he embarrassed the field on his billion dollar machine.
I am not sure he would agree with you on that, though...

Total votes: 18

Great write-up

Another cracker of a race report - thanks Jared. I think your secret is that you write it in the same way that someone who was there might recount it to a mate over a beer : ) In particular your choice of adjectives and metaphors are perfectly suited to the world of WSB... I can't ever see David describing a MotoGP pass as 'oyster-shucking'! Well done...

Congratulations to BMW for such a successful performance, the S1000R has finally arrived. Congratulations to Rea as well, after seeing the clip multiple times and reading all the responses, I've come down firmly on the 'racing incident' side of the fence. Rea wouldn't be a racer if he hadn't gone for the gap - at his home race, of all places - and when two riders want to be in the same place at once, something will give. Commiserations to Haslam, but I don't think that's the first time he's been taken out as an innocent third party... just a part of racing, and he knows that.

Congratulations to Lowes for his first win, and well done Glen Richards, great result as a wildcard.

Total votes: 25

beating on a dead horse

but for me Rea is guilty of a bonehead move, regardless what Marco and Leon were doing, there was not the opportunity to put the bike on that spot at that moment without overcooking the corner and contacting Leon, like somebody said before, he must have known.He had the last word and is responsible,thou it's a racing incident, there has to be technically a cause for it . :p

Total votes: 35

+1

I watched the replay of the accident several times, and rewound to previous laps to see what line Haslam and others were generally taking into the last corner.

I really can't tell much difference between how Haslam took the last corner on the last lap vs in previous laps. He generally always approached the corner a little wider than others, then tightened it up. In fact there's one previous lap where Rea was behind Haslam and pulled in close to the inside of Haslam on the last corner before backing off, so in my mind he knew how Haslam took that corner, and knew what a risky maneuver it would be.

He just didn't have a tight enough line to not collide with Haslam, and most importantly, he was too far back when he hit Haslam so that Haslam had no chance to react (i.e. pick it up) to avoid the accident. Haslam was on the ground before he knew what hit him.

Quite honestly I'm surprised BMW didn't challenge it, but I'm guessing they were too thrilled with Race 1 results and the fact that they *almost* had a repeat in Race 2, it was good enough for them... ?

What I ultimately want to know is... what exactly defines the difference between racing incident and reckless riding ?

Total votes: 28

Intent

"What I ultimately want to know is... what exactly defines the difference between racing incident and reckless riding ?"

Intent. If you didn't care about the results of your action, it's reckless. See Josh Brookes v Michael Rutter in BSB where Brookes was visibly frustrated and recklessly tried a pass that a cooler head wouldn't have attempted. See Stoner assuming Rossi's pass at the corkscrew was reckless until he watched a replay and realised Rossi's intent.

Total votes: 28

Did anyone else just get

Did anyone else just get really annoyed that Haslam kept taking that extended outside line into turn one, and kept getting passed by people? It worked AMAZINGLY at the start of Race 1, and from then on, everyone just used it against him. In fact, people are blaming Melandri for starting a "chain of events" that led to him running wide and just forcing poor old Johnny Rea to take the two of them out, it probably wouldn't have happened if Haslam had kept the lead and stopped doing that wide line into turn 1.

Total votes: 31

Blame

Haslam's wide line didn't cost him any time in a lap. With people overtaking at the Old Hairpin, The Esses, Melbourne Loop and Goddards, conceding a place at the beginning of a lap wasn't going to cost Haslam the race. Other fast riders wanting to win cost Haslam the race.

Total votes: 25

Wow, nice to see so many

Wow, nice to see so many people commenting on a WSBK post. Even if not all of it is constructive...

I love both WSBK and MotoGP, both for different reasons. I just love racing, in all sorts of forms. On the highest (technological) level or not.

Total votes: 29

Not getting into the GP vs WSBK debate....

Great set of races and thanks for the race report/recap! BTW Jared, is there any insight into the dramatically improved Kawasaki? Or the BMW?

Total votes: 14

Kawasaki

I am not aware of any drastically improved Kawasaki. Tom Sykes is just doing extraordinarily well. He is using less tyre than last year, but we'll need another few dry weekends to see how much less.

As for the BMWs, this is a gradual progression we've seen since last year. Their electronics are getting better each week, maybe with input from Colin Edwards's CRT team. Haslam and Melandri both do well at Donington, and this just worked out well for them. 

Total votes: 31

The little things

As I understand it, the 10R is very similar to last year but it's the small revisions that add up to significant improvement. Things like new electronics, revised swingarms, etc and a closer relationship with the factory. The BMW also with similar "sum of its parts" improvements has allowed it's two evenly matched and hungry pilots to push each other to greater heights.

I must admit, I found the final corner incident an anti-climax to some great racing, my heart really sunk to see two blokes who deserved podiums crash out on the last corner. I would apportion most blame to Rea but am torn on whether punishment was deserved. I'm stoked to see Kawasaki finally consistently up front after so long in the doldrums and loved Sykes "5 minus 2 = a podium" comment.

On MotoGP vs WSB, it's all a question of opinion - there is no definitive one is better than the other (as a spectacle). I find MotoGP as enjoyable and exciting to watch as WSB. I love to watch the skills involved by the absolute elite in MotoGP and they have been very close this season but I like the variety of man and machinery in WSB. If push comes to shove, I would watch MotoGP though I enjoy better the atmosphere of WSB in the flesh.

Total votes: 30

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