The second World Superbike race at Monza once again demonstrated the kind of excitement that only a fast track can deliver.
Loris Baz had to start from the pit lane, missing out on a warm up lap as his Kawasaki wouldn't go, whereas Federico Sandi stalled at the start of the race, but he was able to get started and become a back marker late in the race.
Eugene Laverty took an early lead, bringing Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Marco Melandri with him while Jonathan Rea led Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies. Giugliano challenged for the lead, but had to brake hard to avoid Laverty's back wheel into Variente Della Roggia, causing a massive wobble, an off track excursion and a loss of places that could have been a crash.
Sylvain Guintoli and Chaz Davies tried to catch the front three, as the first nine bikes were still all very close, and Guintoli was able to catch Laverty, Sykes and Melandri while Davies, after posting the fastest lap at that point, ran on, like so many did in both races, at the Prima Variente. The front three were now a front four. The same front four as race one.
As the laps ticked down, Guintoli was able to make it to the front ahead of his Aprilia team mate Laverty, and Melandri pushed Sykes to fourth. Chaz Davies, scrapping with Leon Camier, then Davide Giugliano, progressed to fifth place before crashing out. Jonathan Rea had an equally unfortunate race, pulling into the pits midway through.
An all-Rome scrap between Michel Fabrizio and Davide Giugliano continued throughout most of the race, with Fabrizio getting the better of his countryman at the end, with a few unfriendly passes in between.
At the start of the last few laps, Sykes on the Kawasaki couldn't keep the pace of the Aprilias and Melandri's BMW, but by the exit of the Ascari, he seemed to have caught back up to the back of the group, but on the last lap, as he was in third place behind Laverty and Melandri, having dispatched Guintoli to fourth place, in the entrance to Della Roggia, Sykes ran on, ruling him out of a win, but as he rejoined the track, not taking an advantage from the excursion, he re-entered ahead of Guintoli, and moved aside to give Guintoli plenty of room, but at the entrance to Lesmo, Tom had to hit the apex, slowing Guintoli's progress, cementing the top two positions to be fought between Laverty and Melandri.
Exiting the Ascari, heading to the Parabolica, Laverty and Melandri were in unison, but the BMW could not pass the Aprilia in the draft, leaving Melandri's last chance in the corner itself, like in race one.
This time, though, Eugene Laverty limpeted the apex, not leaving Melandri any room to force a pass, and drifted out of the corner to take the win.
As Sylvain Guintoli prepares to excise Tom Sykes from his christmas card list, his championship lead has been reduced to just thirteen points.
Update: The result of this race was changed after an appeal from Aprilia. Details here.
Update 2: Upon further appeal, this change has been reverted. Sykes is back in third place.
Monza - FIM Superbike World Championship - Race 2
1. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 30'59.653
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 30'59.796
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 31'00.378
4. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31'01.272
5. Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31'09.618
6. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31'09.719
7. Leon Camier (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 31'11.894
8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 31'29.424
9. Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 31'34.658
10. Max Neukirchner (MR-Racing) Ducati 1199 Panigale R 31'41.410
11. Fabrizio Lai (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 31'52.232
12. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Grillini Dentalmatic SBK) BMW S1000 RR 32'28.425
13. Federico Sandi (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 31'06.572
RT. Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK) BMW S1000 RR 19'01.771
RT. Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 11'20.596
RT. Kosuke Akiyoshi (Pata Honda World Superbike) Honda CBR1000RR 7'06.643
RT. Mark Aitchison (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 5'31.798
RT. Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'47.465