Results from the first race of the World Superbikes at Imola.
Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa adds yet another victory to his tally ahead of Kawasaki's Tom Sykes after a long battle between the two that was, unsurprisingly, eventually decided by tyre wear. The pair got good starts and broke away from everyone else and Sykes led comfortably for the first half of the race. At the mid-point, Checa sliced neatly past Sykes and eked a lead lap-by-lap all the way to the finish line.
Behind the pair of them, Max Biaggi and his team-mate Eugene Laverty battled for third for a while until Laverty, on lap 3, messed up the final chicane and fell prey to the pack behind them. Leon Haslam started to show form until he ran through one chicane badly, forcing Sylvain Guintoli wide and into the path of Chaz Davies, putting the pair of them out of the race and ending Guintoli's amazing run of form this weekend. Haslam regrouped and eventually fought up to challenge Biaggi for third place, finally shucking him out of a podium place on lap 17 and holding the place to the line.
Laverty also fought hard, passing a surprisingly quick Lorenzo Zanetti to get a 5th place. Zanetti then fell prey to the charging pair of Marco Melandri and Joan Lascorz and had to settle for 8th. Jonathan Rea showing he'd recovered from his potentially career-ending Superpole high side.
The tail end of a freak African weather front that's blessed a lot of Europe with a glorious week's weather ended overnight and the temperature dropped ten degrees. This allowed Sykes to run very well for half the race and retain his pace to manage a well-earned second place, but Kawasaki needs to address their tyre wear if they want a decent dry weather win. Checa, however, was able to set the lap record on the 13th lap, showing he managed his tyres perfectly. A convincing win for the reigning World Champion.
|1||7||CHECA C||Ducati 1098R||1'47.877|
|2||66||SYKES T||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'48.012||3.206|
|3||91||HASLAM L||BMW S1000 RR||1'48.095||5.593|
|4||3||BIAGGI M||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'48.248||6.519|
|5||58||LAVERTY E||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'49.108||24.662|
|6||33||MELANDRI M||BMW S1000 RR||1'48.577||27.261|
|7||17||LASCORZ J||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'48.708||27.384|
|8||87||ZANETTI L||Ducati 1098R||1'48.258||28.299|
|9||65||REA J||Honda CBR1000RR||1'48.553||34.067|
|10||59||CANEPA N||Ducati 1098R||1'48.626||35.724|
|11||96||SMRZ J||Ducati 1098R||1'48.735||36.738|
|12||121||BERGER M||Ducati 1098R||1'49.410||37.257|
|13||21||HOPKINS J||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'50.332||50.418|
|14||36||MERCADO L||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'50.204||53.623|
|15||86||BADOVINI A||BMW S1000 RR||1'49.616||53.942|
|16||68||MCCORMICK B||Ducati 1098R||1'50.147||54.139|
|17||18||AITCHISON M||BMW S1000 RR||1'50.348||57.944|
|18||4||AOYAMA H||Honda CBR1000RR||1'49.140||1'06.233|
|19||44||SALOM D||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'50.646||5 Laps|
|RET||84||FABRIZIO M||BMW S1000 RR||1'49.185||13 Laps|
|RET||34||GIUGLIANO D||Ducati 1098R||1'49.472||13 Laps|
|RET||50||GUINTOLI S||Ducati 1098R||20 Laps|
|RET||19||DAVIES C||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||20 Laps|
|RET||2||CAMIER L||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|RET||15||ALFONSI L||Honda CBR1000RR|