2012 Silverstone WSBK Race One: Exciting Race In Mixed Conditions

Race one was red flagged on the first lap due to a crash caused by rain. The restart was declared a wet race and led to one of the most unusual races so far.

After an 18 lap dangerous scrap in the rain, Frenchman Loris Baz was the eventual winner ahead of Michel Fabrizio. Third place was Ayrton Badovini's crashing bike, with Badovini close by. 

Pole sitter Jakub Smrz and his ex-team mate Sylvain Guintoli were the only riders to ride with wet weather tyres, even though the race was declared wet. This put them at a serious disadvantage as for the first two thirds of the race, it was a dry or drying track. When the rain eventually did come, they were already a lap down and had ruined their rubber.

Leon Haslam was an early leader in front of his home crowd, followed by the Kawasakis of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes. After a few laps, Carlos Checa pushed to the front and built a considerable lead that he would hold for ten laps, until the rains returned. It wasn't a heavy rain, but it was enough to change the entire dynamic of the race. 

Leon Camier, who was fighting for the podium almost the entire race, stuck his hand out to get the race stopped, but as it was a wet race, it could not be stopped by the riders. Camier crashed out shortly after, riding beyond safe limits in the conditions. 

As more riders started falling back, it was a question of bravery and foolhardiness that would determine the podium. Loris Baz, maintaining his nation's reputation for producing good wet weather racers, was riding around the outside of his opponents throughout the race and showed he had the form and luck to claim his first win in a world championship. Michel Fabrizio came from the middle of the field to claim second while Ayrton Badovini crashed out exiting the last corner yet still earned third place. Jonathan Rea in fourth hit Badovini's bike and ended up crashing out as well. 

This race will create a lot of debate about safety, especially as a wet race cannot be stopped by the riders risking their health on the track. It's unfortunate that this will overshadow the debut win of a rising star.



Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 76 BAZ L Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'07.895  
2 84 FABRIZIO M BMW S1000 RR 2'07.888 0.383
3 86 BADOVINI A BMW S1000 RR 2'06.764 0.459
4 65 REA J Honda CBR1000RR 2'07.749 0.539
5 7 CHECA C Ducati 1098R 2'06.969 1.012
6 91 HASLAM L BMW S1000 RR 2'07.524 2.619
7 33 MELANDRI M BMW S1000 RR 2'07.596 6.123
8 66 SYKES T Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'07.250 9.170
9 34 GIUGLIANO D Ducati 1098R 2'07.020 19.022
10 58 LAVERTY E Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'08.035 19.087
11 121 BERGER M Ducati 1098R 2'07.904 29.840
12 87 ZANETTI L Ducati 1098R 2'07.638 30.158
13 4 AOYAMA H Honda CBR1000RR 2'08.381 44.222
14 19 DAVIES C Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'10.954 1'20.387
15 44 SALOM D Kawasaki ZX-10R 2'07.540 1'42.698
16 50 GUINTOLI S Ducati 1098R 2'22.750 1 Lap
17 96 SMRZ J Ducati 1098R 2'24.316 1 Lap
RET 3 BIAGGI M Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2'07.769 1 Lap
RET 2 CAMIER L Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'07.121 4 Laps
RET 59 CANEPA N Ducati 1098R 2'09.622 4 Laps
RET 21 HOPKINS J Suzuki GSX-R1000 2'08.394 8 Laps
NS 20 JOHNSON D Kawasaki ZX-10R    


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I must admit I was rooting for Baz and Rea , so I was quite happy with the end result, on the last few corners I wasnt sure if Loris knew it was a wet track!

followed up with a good result in race 2 also

I thought it was quite ridiculous for safety reasons to continue this race in the last few laps. Honestly, if someone really wrecked and got hurt, why is that better than if they called the race with 5 laps left to go?

If it were AMA people would be calling for heads to roll. The race should have been stopped. Lucky no one was seriously hurt. With the stupid single bike rule there is always the risk of teams not making race 2. Plus a synthetic oil spill on a wet track never cleans up.

Did anyone else think Giugliano is a complete idiot for pulling a celebration wheelie accross the finish line with two bikes on the track, marshals on the side and no doubt waved flags? Surely he should have been reprimanded for such unsafe behaviour. He almost hit the BMW!

I agree, Gigalo definitely should have been reprimanded. What a twat!

With regards to racing in the wet. When IS motorcycle racing NOT dangerous. Let them race and the one who goes the fastest wins. Isn't that what they do in the dry anyway?

Granted, it's dangerous and there's nothing wrong with racing in the wet - if you do it right. I think you give the racers the tools they need to race in the wet as safely as possible.

If everyone's on slicks and the skies open up, throw the red flag, the sooner the better, even if it means a second restart. But the problem with Race Two wasn't just that it was wet, it was standing water that the tires would lose contact with the surface on, as well as oil and fuel floating on the water and spreading across the surface.

You could also mandate that a race declared a wet race must be run on intermediates or full wets - no slicks. That would at least be safer for the riders, and it would take away the temptation to go with slicks and hope for the best.

Jared, is it just me, or are the leading teams avoiding the Pirelli intermediate tires like the plague this season? I can't for the life of me figure out why most of the front-runners took the re-start for Race One on slicks?

One last thought: Quick-change wheels would add an element of race strategy to dodgy conditions that I'd get a kick out of. It works in cars; it could work here.

I like the idea of mandated intermediates as a minimum when wet race deceleration.

Great racing was had in the end anyway, especially race one. What a corker!!!!