-- Max Biaggi dominates race one; Checa enters orbit
Max Biaggi (Aprilia) has won his first ever World Superbike (WSBK) race at Phillip Island, winning today’s opening encounter by over seven seconds ahead of fellow Italian Marco Melandri.
After reigning world champion Carlos Checa spectacularly crashed out of the lead on lap four, Biaggi had it all his own way and extended his cushion out to nearly 10 seconds before easing off in the last few laps. The 40-year-old has now won both WSBK and MotoGP races at the 4.445km circuit.
Biaggi also completed the full suite of accolades in race one, setting a new lap record (1:31.785) and the highest top speed – 325km/h.
Bryan Staring was the leading Aussie, making up eight spots from qualifying to finish a superb 10th on his privateer Kawasaki.
While Biaggi enjoyed clear air out in front, there were a number of battles behind him, including a fierce arm wrestle for second place between the BMW-backed Melandri and Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli on a Ducati.
Melandri eventually got the better of that one after a flurry of passing activity, flashing across the finish line 0.274 seconds in front of Guintoli.
Polesitter and early leader Tom Sykes was fourth on his Kawasaki, followed by Ducati’s Jakub Smrz and Italian Michel Fabrizio, who picked his way forward on the BMW after a slow start.
Briton Jonathan Rea was battling at the front early on, before slipping back to seventh after 22 laps, ahead of new Honda teammate Hiroshi Aoyama.
Suzuki’s Josh Brookes was the next best Australian in 16th, ahead of BMW pair Mark Aitchison and David Johnson in 18th and 19thy respectively.
Four riders failed to finish, including Checa, who was violently spat over the bars at turn 12, and Aprilia factory rider Eugene Laverty. Other than a few obligatory bumps and bruises, Checa was unhurt in the crash.
Race two is at 3.30pm.
Australia’s Broc Parkes will compete in the World Supersport race (21 laps) at 1.30pm, racing from pole position in the number 23 Honda.
WSBK race one results
1. Max Biaggi34'13.963 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Racing Team)
2. Marco Melandri34'21.067 BMW S1000RR (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
3. Sylvain Guintoli34'21.341 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
4. Tom Sykes34'26.152 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
5. Jakub Smrz34'30.387 Ducati 1098R (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)
6. Michel Fabrizio34'34.163 BMW S1000RR (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
7. Jonathan Rea34'34.186 Honda CBR1000RR (Honda World Superbike Team)
8. Hiroshi Aoyama34'38.071 Honda CBR1000RR (Honda World Superbike Team)
9. Davide Giugliano34'42.035 Ducati 1098R (Althea Racing)
10. Bryan Staring34'48.195 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
11. Lorenzo Zanetti34'48.413 Ducati 1098R (PATA Racing Team)
12. Leon Haslam34'49.611 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
13. Maxime Berger34'50.355 Ducati 1098R (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
14. David Salom34'55.463 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Team Pedercini)
15. Joan Lascorz34'56.049 Kawasaki ZX-10R (Kawasaki Racing Team)
16. Joshua Brookes34'56.568 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
17. Leon Camier34'57.329 Suzuki GSX-R1000 (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
18. Mark Aitchison34'59.188 BMW S1000 RR (Grillini Progea Superbike Team)
19. David Johnson35'22.745 BMW S1000 RR (Rossair AEP Racing)
20. Niccolò Canepa35'24.403 Ducati 1098R (Red Devils Roma)
RT. Eugene Laverty30'29.484 Aprilia RSV4 Factory (Aprilia Racing Team)
RT. Ayrton Badovini22'10.214 BMW S1000 RR (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
RT. Carlos Checa7'47.279 Ducati 1098R (Althea Racing)
RT. Raffaele De Rosa1'31.785 Honda CBR1000RR (Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda)
Feb 26 - News - WSBK Race 1
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