Results and summary of World Superbike race 2 at Kyalami:
Leon Haslam emerged victorious from a very tight three-way scrap in the second World Superbike race at Kyalami, after an imperious pass on Johnny Rea settled the battle in his favor on the penultimate lap. Haslam had taken the lead on the first lap, deposing Max Biaggi, who had in turn bumped Carlos Checa from the lead going into the first corner, Checa getting the run off the line.
Haslam's initial lead would last little over a lap, Johnny Rea diving his way under Haslam after the Alstare Suzuki rider ran wide. Though Rea's pass was comfortable, the Ten Kate Honda rider was not able to shake off Haslam's pursuit, and a group of six riders formed early on in the race. Rea led from Haslam, with Max Biaggi close behind, while Michel Fabrizio, Carlos Checa and Cal Crutchlow had ceded a couple of tenths gap which was to prove almost impossible to bridge.
While the front three were to stick together for the duration of the race, the following trio would undergo a number of changes before the race was to end. Fabrizio had the upper hand at first, but Cal Crutchlow was on a charge, forcing his way first past Checa, then past Fabrizio, Checa passing the Xerox Ducati a couple of laps later. Fabrizio would then slide down the order, incapable of sustaining the pace that brought him victory in race 1. Checa took too long to get past Fabrizio, losing touch with the leaders, but Crutchlow was soon on the back of Rea, Biaggi and Haslam, though he could never really mix it up with the leaders.
Despite the presence of Crutchlow on their tail - later joined by Checa - it was clear that the three scrapping at the front would share the podium spoils. For the vast majority of the race, Johnny Rea seemed to have it in the bag. Rea was challenged by Haslam, and challenged by Biaggi, but held them off when attacked, and struck straight back when passed. While Rea held the lead, Biaggi and Haslam haggled over 2nd, Haslam leading first, then Biaggi taking over for the middle part of the race, Haslam then taking back 2nd for the latter part of the race.
With five laps to go, Haslam stepped up the pressure on Rea. The Alstare Suzuki dumped up the inside of Rea at the Hairpin, but Haslam ran wide, allowing the Ten Kate Honda straight back. For three more laps, Haslam breathed down Rea's neck, before making a decisive and inch perfect pass on Rea at the hairpin, this time leaving Rea with no space to come back. Having Biaggi follow behind, almost clipping Rea's rear wheel helped, Rea forced to back off, giving Haslam the space to escape.
Haslam held on to take an impressive and important victory, gaining significant points over Max Biaggi, who finished 3rd behind Rea. Haslam's advantage to Biaggi has now grown to 15 points, though with 14 races left to contend, the championship is still very much open. Johnny Rea and Carlos Checa share 3rd, but are 81 points back, and only a Spies-style comeback will bring them back into contention.
|1||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|2||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||0.522|
|3||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||0.601|
|4||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||0.991|
|5||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||1.479|
|6||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||13.324|
|7||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||13.740|
|8||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||14.250|
|9||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||15.190|
|10||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||16.790|
|11||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||21.101|
|12||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Ducati 1098R||22.670|
|13||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||24.506|
|14||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||31.301|
|15||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||31.836|
|16||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||33.710|
|17||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||35.203|
|18||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||55.929|
|19||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||56.074|
|20||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'08.481|
|RET||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||7 Laps|
|RET||32||S. Morais||RSA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||14 Laps|