2010 Imola World Superbike Race 2 Result - Easy Victory Up Front While Mechanical Settles Championship

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.

Results: 

Pos No. Rider Country Bike Diff
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
Round Number: 
12
2010
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Comments

If Tom Sykes does not get a contract renewal, Kawasaki will be cursed. Just like all of the baseball curses. The curse of the Bambino or the curse of the goat.

The curse of Tom Sykes. That just sounds like an evil sport's curse. I wouldn't want to mess with it. :-P

Seeing Sykes slide that thing through the corners was amazing, esp in race 1. I really hope he gets a decent ride for next year... although at this point the kwak might be as decent as it gets.

Carlos rode brilliant this weekend. I hope Ducati gives him great support next year (even if it is unofficial). He is still a fantastic rider.

He looks like he would fit right in with the American half milers. I would love to see what he could do on a KR750 at Indy or Springfield!