Results from the second World Superbike race at Imola.
Althea Ducati's Carlos Checa may have missed out on the pole position and lap record, but after a race that was very similar to the first one, he keeps his championship defence firmly on track with a second win ahead of Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam.
The track temperature was higher than this morning's race, but that didn't change anything beyond the choice of tyre with only the Hondas of Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama on the hardest tyre. The racing started just like the first race with Sykes leading ahead of Checa and Max Biaggi with Eugene Laverty, Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli leading the rest of the field. On the 7th lap, Sykes broke away, setting the lap record and Biaggi lead a three-way fight with Haslam and Checa only to have Checa take back 2nd place and close the gap to Sykes over the next five laps. Checa put his Ducati at the front at two thirds race distance and slowly built a lead, while Haslam closed the gap to Sykes after some strong laps. Haslam would spend the next seven laps trying to get his BMW past Sykes's Kawasaki until on the last lap, Sykes finally broke free and Biaggi caught a glimmer of hope as Haslam fell back.
However, Biaggi couldn't find a way past Haslam and was denied a podium once again. Checa, Sykes and Haslam returned to the podium in the exact same order as earlier.
Further behind, Rea made good use of the harder tyre and dragged his Ten Kate Honda from 10th up to 5th at the flag. Laverty got a sixth place, in spite of the fact Rea and Laverty clipped each other, sending Rea to the gravel, while Davide Giugliano fought hard only to crash out from a promising position on the last lap. Jakup Smrz had a close call, nearly clipping Nicollo Canepa's crashed bike that skidded across the notorious final chicane that has caused so much grief today, and finished on Laverty's tail and ahead of Leon Camier. Joan Lascorz saw off a disappointing Marco Melandri whose result was overshadowed by the fact Guintoli right behind him had ridden through the pit lane on lap 4.
Other DNFs included John Hopkins who retired very early on and Aoyama who parked his bike on lap 12. Michel Fabrizio didn't even complete a lap before pulling into the pits.
All in all, Imola gave us some tense racing with plenty of battles and a reminder that it would take a brave soul to bet against Carlos Checa for a second championship.
|1||7||CHECA C||Ducati 1098R||1'47.743|
|2||66||SYKES T||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'47.552||1.935|
|3||91||HASLAM L||BMW S1000 RR||1'47.741||2.969|
|4||3||BIAGGI M||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'47.863||3.346|
|5||65||REA J||Honda CBR1000RR||1'48.200||18.925|
|6||58||LAVERTY E||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'48.620||21.180|
|7||96||SMRZ J||Ducati 1098R||1'48.531||21.392|
|8||2||CAMIER L||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'48.596||23.797|
|9||17||LASCORZ J||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'48.500||24.219|
|10||33||MELANDRI M||BMW S1000 RR||1'48.475||25.599|
|11||50||GUINTOLI S||Ducati 1098R||1'48.319||25.776|
|12||121||BERGER M||Ducati 1098R||1'48.558||26.004|
|13||87||ZANETTI L||Ducati 1098R||1'48.343||31.172|
|14||19||DAVIES C||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||1'48.546||33.837|
|15||86||BADOVINI A||BMW S1000 RR||1'48.898||45.541|
|16||68||MCCORMICK B||Ducati 1098R||1'50.149||50.807|
|17||44||SALOM D||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'49.938||51.083|
|18||18||AITCHISON M||BMW S1000 RR||1'50.140||57.833|
|RET||34||GIUGLIANO D||Ducati 1098R||1'48.478||1 Lap|
|RET||59||CANEPA N||Ducati 1098R||1'48.341||4 Laps|
|RET||36||MERCADO L||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'50.401||7 Laps|
|RET||4||AOYAMA H||Honda CBR1000RR||1'50.128||9 Laps|
|RET||15||ALFONSI L||Honda CBR1000RR||1'53.901||13 Laps|
|RET||21||HOPKINS J||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'49.647||17 Laps|
|RET||84||FABRIZIO M||BMW S1000 RR|