2012 Donington World Superbikes Race Two - Thrilling Race Decided At The Last Corner

World Superbikes race two at Donington Park was a five-way dice that was settled in the last corner of the last lap in thrilling fashion.

A race-long battle between four riders turned into a five-way fight as Jonathan Rea fought through the front four for a win decided when both BMWs crashed together at the last corner as Rea, Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri all contested the same piece of tarmac. Max Biaggi, who spent the majority of the race on his Aprilia behind Tom Sykes's Kawasaki before the BMWs and Rea's Honda charged past, was able to capitalise on the falling BMWs for second place. Sykes, upon arriving in Parc Fermé to take the third step of the podium, said "I'll take that!"

Carlos Checa, Jakub Smrz and Davide Giugliano all crashed out on the first lap after tagging Eugene Laverty who himself fell off some laps later. Leon Camier and Sylvain Guintoli took fourth and fifth while Ayrton Badovini finished ahead of the replacement riders Loris Baz and Peter Hickman.

Max Biaggi extends his championship lead to five points ahead of Tom Sykes.


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 65 REA J Honda CBR1000RR 1'29.213  
2 3 BIAGGI M Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'28.995 0.508
3 66 SYKES T Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'29.130 2.029
4 2 CAMIER L Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'29.641 4.245
5 50 GUINTOLI S Ducati 1098R 1'29.466 6.595
6 86 BADOVINI A BMW S1000 RR 1'29.914 17.469
7 19 DAVIES C Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'30.028 17.788
8 76 BAZ L Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'30.230 21.093
9 60 HICKMAN P Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'30.320 21.866
10 4 AOYAMA H Honda CBR1000RR 1'30.249 22.620
11 59 CANEPA N Ducati 1098R 1'30.443 26.764
12 87 ZANETTI L Ducati 1098R 1'30.490 27.043
13 84 FABRIZIO M BMW S1000 RR 1'29.313 28.390
14 18 AITCHISON M BMW S1000 RR 1'31.641 56.618
15 91 HASLAM L BMW S1000 RR 1'29.150 1'20.196
RET 33 MELANDRI M BMW S1000 RR 1'29.138 1 Lap
RET 36 MERCADO L Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.123 4 Laps
RET 101 MASON G Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.513 9 Laps
RET 121 BERGER M Ducati 1098R 1'30.084 11 Laps
RET 34 GIUGLIANO D Ducati 1098R 1'29.638 12 Laps
RET 58 LAVERTY E Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'29.563 13 Laps
RET 7 CHECA C Ducati 1098R    
RET 96 SMRZ J Ducati 1098R    


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Total votes: 26


How the hell did Rea get away with that? He just punted another rider right off the track and into his teammate... Unbelievable. He's done this before, his antics cost Haga the championship in 2009.

Total votes: 82

Actually I don't see Rea to blame here. Melandri's daft and impossible lunge made Leon sit up, making his entry wide. Rea saw the gap, thinking Leon was going wide and held his line. Leon hung on to his line but by then it was too late, Rea was coming through.

Racing incident, plain and simple, but none of it would have happened if Melandri hadn't of pulled that move.

Total votes: 84

on how we see the events of that last corner. It's a racing incident, but i just don't think Rea should be absolved of all wrongdoing. If he was going to go inside Haslam he could have done so without bumping off him like a berm

Rea, Haslam, and Melandri all tried to race hard and win. Somehow only Rea is a hero for racing hard while Melandri's attempt to win the race is chastised. Haslam was just SOL

Total votes: 65

Unfortunate as it is, there was a gap there, and these are hard racers.

What was Rea supposed to do? Say to Haslam, "You first.."

Total votes: 71

One of the easier calls for me actually. Rea is not close to being past Haslam when he hits him, so I can't see how he's not completely at fault. Rea's front wheel hit Haslam's leg, if you hit someone from behind it's your fault.

The incident with Rea and Melandri are pretty much the opposite ends of the spectrum, Melandri screwed up and lost positions for himself, Rea screwed up and cost other riders positions and helped himself.

Total votes: 70

But what I saw was Rea using Haslam as a berm to avoid going wide, after such an inside line, he must have knew he would run the exit wide and get in the way, that was the closest to AMA Supercross I've seen so far.

Total votes: 66

re: "But what I saw was Rea using Haslam as a berm to avoid going wide"

unfortunate as the outcome was, what i saw was haslam (forced perhaps) leaving a door open wide enough to drive a lorry through. it was the same mistake gibernau made on rossi at jerez 7 years ago. for the record there is a tight line that can be run through goddards. a prime example can be seen with sofuoglu in the supersport race. iirc biaggi has also run that line several times going all the way back to his days on the marlboro YZR500 and the early days of MOTOGP. in the end, rea taught BMW a valuable lesson. yes a valuable lesson on managing their riders and how important it is they (BMW) communicate that employer objectives supercede individual rider wants. there's no "i" in team.

Total votes: 53

Haslam had been taking wide entries and tight exits, thus leaving gaps, all meeting long.. Eurosport commentators questioned his tactics at Redgate after the first race.

He must have completed thousands of laps around Donington due to his Dads race school and was brought up there.

The fast lap line isn't always the best racing line..especailly when defending a closely fought lead at the death.


Total votes: 59

Race two, last corner. (Yet another opinion!)

Melandri's Scud Pass was laughable. He was sooo far inside Leon, and zoomed by so quickly, that he had zero effect on him or Rea.

Leon stayed strangely wide on the entrance, leaving the door open far too long. Rea took the opportunity, but overcooked slightly and drifted about a foot wide just as Leon was belatedly finding an apex.

IMO, 50% Rea's mild overshoot, and 50% racing incident. If Haslam had kept a tighter line in, the whole situation never would have developed.

Shame about the subsequent 'Bowling for Beemers' exhibition.

Total votes: 67

Marco Simoncelli must be turning over in his grave at this quiet response.

I loved the parc ferme rationalisation from his team - "you've had similar moves done to you".
Hmmm, my Dad beat me when I was a kid, so I guess using that logic it's OK to beat my kids.............

Melandri only has himself to blame, but poor old Haslam ends up the innocent victim of a drive by shooting, and Rea gets 25 points for an absolutely half-arsed attempt at an inside pass.

That's racing.

Total votes: 61

Leon has a proper races head on, both bms losing out on a certain 1 2 was idiotic, enter melandri without his lunge they would have been 1 2, but I reckon he couldn't stand to see Leon get the win. If Rossi's pass on gibbers was wild then jrs was loonacy. There was no pass he just ran into Leon not even close to level, and luckily for him he didn't fall off, but he did take 2 other racers out by 'his actions'..... Doesn't really matter whose fault it was now he's got away with it but I've never seen racer do what jr did and be in the right before yesterday..

Total votes: 56

I can't see anyone else to blame than Rea. Even if there is a gap, I don't think it means you can use the bike like a crowbar.

Haslam had no chance to avoid the crash it at any point and Rea had every chance. Melandri was just collateral damage afterwards.

The different question is wether Rea did on purpose or not, or did he realistically think that he can get the bike to turn on such a tight line as there still was enough room on the inside.

I am not sure the racers can have enough time to think about these things or if they go just by instincts.

Hopefully ther won't be too much grudge and we can get back to exciting racing next time around.

Total votes: 48

but not as in crash and win, that would just be too low.
If we consider how the Honda generally seems outclassed by the other bikes, it wouldn't gain him much to gather collection 3rd of 4th places when the win is suddenly a corner away.

Total votes: 57