Results and summary of World Superbike Race 2 at Imola:
Carlos Checa pulled off an imperious double at Imola, but WSBK race 2 belonged to one man, the Roman Emperor Max Biaggi. An impressive engine blow-up by Leon Haslam's Alstare Suzuki GSX-R 1000 meant that all Biaggi had to do was finish better than 14th and the title would be his, a relatively simple objective for the Alitalia Aprilia rider, and one he achieved with ease. The Italian secured his first World Superbike championship - his fifth overall and the first ever for an Italian rider - with a comfortable ride home to finish 4th.
Race 2 started almost identically to race 1, with Tom Sykes haring away from pole position to take the lead, and Leon Haslam following the Kawasaki closely. The biggest difference this time around was Max Biaggi: Where the Alitalia Aprilia rider had gotten a miserable start in race 1 - and followed it up with a thoroughly indifferent race - in race 2, Biaggi was off the line as if fired out of a gun. Biaggi entered Turn 1 in 3rd, though he would not hold that position long, losing out to DFX Corse's Lorenzo Lanzi before the lap was out.
As in race 1, Sykes was overriding his Kawasaki brilliantly, holding up riders on much better bikes behind him. His guile would help him keep the lead for the first 5 laps, but there was an irresistible force on its way forward. Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa was unstoppable at Imola, as his race 1 win had made obvious, and the Spaniard was picking his way forward through the pack. By lap 4 he was behind Sykes, and past the Englishman two laps later. Once by Sykes, the race was over, and Checa was headed off into the distance, never to be seen again. Checa had his third win, and his first double of the season.
Sykes was still playing the rolling roadblock, holding up Haslam behind him, while Biaggi was content to keep his title rival in his sights, knowing that he could afford to give away a couple of points if needed. Haslam, on the other hand, knew he had to grab as big an advantage over Biaggi as he could muster, and set about trying to get past Sykes. He managed it, but only by running over the inside of the chicane, forcing him to give up the place he had illegally gained. Haslam sat up, saw Sykes go by, and also saw Biaggi and Fabrizio blow past too, and Haslam set about chasing once again.
Worse was coming for Haslam, though. Haslam had worked his way past Fabrizio, and was working on Noriyuki Haga. It would all become moot, however, as the engine of Haslam's Suzuki let go spectacularly on lap 11, the Briton trailing a huge cloud of oily white smoke behind him before retiring. His race, and his title hopes were over. Biaggi was 2010 World Superbike Champion.
As the laps ticked down, so did Sykes' resistance, allowing first Noriyuki Haga and then Cal Crutchlow got past to complete the podium. Checa's and Crutchlow's futures are already secured, but Haga did his hopes of securing a ride for next season a lot of good with two podiums at Imola. Sykes, meanwhile, will enter the 2011 season aboard a brand new - and highly competitive looking - Kawasaki, coming off a win in BSB and a couple of strong rides at Imola. Now that the 2010 championship has been settled, the 2011 season is looking interesting already.
|1||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R|
|2||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||2.129|
|3||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||3.926|
|4||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||5.762|
|5||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||7.025|
|6||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||12.147|
|7||57||L. Lanzi||ITA||Ducati 1098R||14.212|
|8||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||18.029|
|9||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||18.249|
|10||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Ducati 1098R||19.446|
|11||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||23.674|
|12||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||34.804|
|13||90||F. Sandi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 1000 F.||53.540|
|14||33||F. Lai||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||1'03.102|
|15||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'07.185|
|16||5||I. Lowry||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1'08.926|
|RET||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||8 Laps|
|RET||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||11 Laps|
|RET||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||12 Laps|
|RET||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||12 Laps|
|RET||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||18 Laps|