Results and summary of World Superbike race 1 at Kyalami:
Michel Fabrizio took victory in the first World Superbike race at Kyalami, dominating the race from start to finish. The Xerox Ducati rider got away from the line superbly, diving into Turn 1 ahead of Sterilgarda Yamaha's James Toseland and the Althea Ducati of Carlos Checa. Checa took over 2nd before the lap was out, but by then, the Italian was over a second ahead of Checa, and the Spanish veteran faced a long hard chase. All race long, the two Ducatis were evenly matched, the gap hovering between 1 and 1.5 seconds, but Fabrizio's lead was never truly threatened, and the Xerox Ducati rider took a fairly emphatic victory.
Most of the action of the race took place behind the leading pair. In the early laps, the field had split into pairs, with James Toseland leading the Alstare Suzuki of Leon Haslam, and Leon Camier holding off his Alitalia Aprilia teammate Max Biaggi. Toseland didn't have the pace to catch Fabrizio and Checa ahead of him, but he did have the pace and the skill to hold off a charging Haslam behind. Similarly, Camier found it hard to close on Haslam, but held off his teammate until lap 9. Once past, Biaggi was free to try and chase and pass Haslam, to try and close the title race deficit even further.
Unfortunately for Biaggi, Haslam had got past Toseland at almost the same time that Biaggi had got past Camier, and by the time Biaggi arrived on the back wheel of Toseland, Haslam had already opened up a gap. Toseland then commenced to do to Biaggi what he had spent the first third of the race doing to Haslam, allowing Haslam to build up enough of a gap to secure 3rd.
Toseland's spectacular delaying tactics - his Sterilgarda Yamaha sliding everywhere as his tires went off - allowed Camier to catch once again, but Biaggi was determined to get past. The Italian tried several times to pass Toseland, his favorite tactic diving up the inside of Toseland at the Continental Hairpin, though Toseland would pass straight back getting drive off the outside of the turn, and taking back 4th place on the exit. But Toseland's valiant defense was doomed to fail eventually, Biaggi making a pass stick on lap 16, and going off to chase his title rival, who was by now too far gone to catch.
Toseland's defensive work was not yet done, however, and the Briton was left to fend with two of his compatriots, Aprilia's Camier and the other Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow. That battle also allowed Ten Kate's Johnny Rea to join the fray, the Ulsterman having gotten a poor start, but starting to really fly in the second half of the race. By the time Rea had caught the trio ahead, the Ten Kate rider had built up a good head of steam, and in a brilliant outside move around the Continental Hairpin, Rea took over 5th from both Toseland and Camier. Camier eventually passed Toseland, but Toseland managed to finally hold off his teammate Crutchlow to the line.
The biggest loser of the day was Xerox Ducati's Noriyuki Haga. While his teammate took a convincing victory, Haga struggled, dropping back through the field only to finish outside of the points. Haga's days at Ducati would appear to be numbered.
|1||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R|
|2||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||1.098|
|3||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||5.049|
|4||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||6.974|
|5||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||13.710|
|6||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||13.848|
|7||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||16.064|
|8||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||16.231|
|9||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||16.580|
|10||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||23.100|
|11||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Ducati 1098R||24.561|
|12||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||25.504|
|13||32||S. Morais||RSA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||27.073|
|14||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||27.273|
|15||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||30.692|
|16||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||34.008|
|17||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||35.948|
|18||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||44.030|
|19||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||48.382|
|20||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||11 Laps|
|21||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||13 Laps|
|22||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||18 Laps|