2012 Aragon WSBK Race Two - Exciting Race To The End

World Superbikes at its best is close physical racing between determined riders on near-equal machinery, and race two was exactly that.

Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty both passed Tom Sykes very early on, and were joined by Marco Melandri to make a break away pack for the top three. This pack put some distance between themselves and the second group led by Leon Haslam who held up Sykes, Davide Giugliano, Jonathan Rea, Carlos Checa and Chaz Davies. As the front three swapped places, the second group had to put up with Chaz Davies forcing his way to the front, intent on crossing the gap to the front three. 

At the halfway mark, Eugene Laverty passed his team mate for the lead in a very clean and tidy overtake that was set up over three corners. The gap back to Chaz Davies from Marco Melandri was around two seconds at this point, as the Welshman put a second's gap between himself and Sykes in fifth. 

Five laps from the end, while Marco Melandri led the race, Davies joined the front three and at the end of the long straight, going into the hairpin, Biaggi and Melandri messily passed each other, letting Laverty take first, bringing Davies with him. The lap after, Laverty lost the front baking heavily into the hairpin but managed to somehow save it and keep his first place. Melandri started making hard passes, pushing his way to the front, while Max Biaggi swapped back and forth with Davies. At the flag, Davies managed to clinch the last step of the podium from Biaggi, behind Melandri and Laverty.

Marco Melandri was very agressive in his passing, and this was what was needed to win on the BMW ahead of three very fast Aprilias. Chaz Davies got his first podium in World Superbikes, a fraction of a second ahead of Max Biaggi. 

Three Aprilias in the top four, with Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam rounding out the top six, this race showed that having a fast bike helps at Aragon.

Result: 

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 33 MELANDRI M BMW S1000 RR 1'58.950  
2 58 LAVERTY E Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'58.969 0.042
3 19 DAVIES C Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'59.186 0.446
4 3 BIAGGI M Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'59.068 0.484
5 65 REA J Honda CBR1000RR 1'59.565 6.611
6 91 HASLAM L BMW S1000 RR 1'59.343 7.491
7 7 CHECA C Ducati 1098R 1'59.441 9.325
8 66 SYKES T Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'59.345 10.444
9 86 BADOVINI A BMW S1000 RR 1'59.659 10.828
10 34 GIUGLIANO D Ducati 1098R 1'59.505 10.925
11 84 FABRIZIO M BMW S1000 RR 2'00.009 21.955
12 121 BERGER M Ducati 1098R 2'00.264 22.046
13 50 GUINTOLI S Ducati 1098R 2'00.283 22.486
14 87 ZANETTI L Ducati 1098R 2'00.674 42.801
15 4 AOYAMA H Honda CBR1000RR 2'00.917 49.144
16 44 SALOM D Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'01.586 50.961
17 59 CANEPA N Ducati 1098R 2'01.932  
18 36 MERCADO L Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'01.859  
19 64 BRIGNOLA N BMW S1000 RR 2'04.091  
20 76 BAZ L Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'00.259 1 Lap
21 2 CAMIER L Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'59.996 2 Laps
22 21 HOPKINS J Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'01.644 16 Laps
           
Round Number: 
8
2012
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Comments

After a rather procession-like MotoGP race yesterday, these two Superbike races again were a welcome thrill! Brilliant championship again this year!

with 3 Aprilia's in the top 4 and a speed difference of around 35 klms/hr down the back straight are race direction or whoever controls the rules in SBK going to take back the 6 kilo's of extra weight from the Ducati's.
They don't stand a chance anymore and no, I am not a Ducati fan but do support Checa.

Top racing, pleasure to watch, have enjoyed the close racing in SBK over MotoGP for a few years now, no wonder Dorna are having trouble attracting sponsers and teams.

Yet Checa was 3rd in race one. This track was always going to show the Ducati's straight-line weakness, much like Monza would have. Other tracks favour the nimble red bikes more.

I know it's determined by very precise calculations from race results but I forgot the details, how long until they lift these 6 kilos, is it happening if Checa finishes 4th or worse in the next couple of races?

Again I must say that the top speed measurements that we got at Aragon were unreliable. Several times we got showed differences of over 20 km/h between bikes that were clearly staying close together on the straight. I suspect the speed trap was just about in the braking zone, so that late brakers get much higher measurements. This is only too often the case, at various tracks. They should place the speed traps earlier. I want to know the realistic speed differences between the bikes, not necessarily that last 1 km/h.
Maybe the speed trap is often set up for cars, that have either much lower top speeds or demon braking like Formula One.

Some riders, like Chaz Davies, mentioned the speeds recorded by their data loggers. The Aprilias were seriously fast, approached only by the BMWs.

I would like to see those speeds from the data loggers! That would be interesting stuff! Please!
Clearly even the tall Chaz Davies had a lot of steam on the straight. Impressive work from Aprilia.