Results and summary of the World Superbike race 2 at Miller Motorsports Park:
Max Biaggi was gifted his second race in a row at Miller, Carlos Checa's Althea Ducati once again leaving him in the lurch. Checa had got an even better start than in race 1, fending off Biaggi into Turn 1 and building a lead early. But Checa's luck was to be as poor in race 2 as it was in race 1, the Althea Ducati's ride-by-wire system seeming to pack up in exactly the same way as it did in the first race, the only difference being that Checa's race was over by lap 8, rather than lap 19. The second failure in a row robbed Checa of what looked like being an almost effortless double, instead handing the double to Biaggi, his third of the season.
Once Checa was out, Biaggi's position was never in danger, the Alitalia Aprilia rider having built up a comfortable lead. Only the remainder of the podium was ever in question, with BMW's Troy Corser the early candidate for 2nd, Biaggi's teammate Camier following behind, while Cal Crutchlow chased Camier. By lap 9, Camier was on Corser, and past him a lap later, followed immediately by Crutchlow. The Sterilgarda Yamaha rider looked like passing Camier as well, but Crutchlow could never quite close the gap, Camier picking up the pace whenever his fellow Briton got too close.
If the battle for the podium was settled quickly and with little drama, the action was all going on behind the front three. Championship leader Leon Haslam had had another dismal start, crossing the line down in 10th at the end of lap 1, and battling his way forward. The Alstare Suzuki rider was putting on a fantastic comeback, barging his way through the field - sometimes quite brutally, as he demonstrated on Ten Kate Honda's Johnny Rea - until he arrived in 6th spot. Haslam was clearly on a mission, but it would eventually fail, the Briton highsiding out of the race to record his first DNF of the season, and surrendering his championship lead to Max Biaggi going into the summer break.
Of the following pack, Noriyuki Haga was to come out best, adding a 4th spot to his 3rd in race 1 to record an excellent weekend, and something of a revival for the Xerox Ducati rider. The Nitro in Nitro Nori seems once again to refer to the highly explosive trinitrotoluene, rather than the relatively inert nitrogen. Corser scored a decent 5th place, the BMW still struggling to conserve tires all the way to the end of a race. Further behind, Sylvain Guintoli saved the honor of the Alstare Suzuki team, bagging 6th spot ahead of Althea Ducati's Shane Byrne, 7th spot small compensation for Checa's double disaster. The brave, battered and bruised Johnny Rea ended the day 8th, a miracle given that the Ulsterman was run over by his own Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR yesterday.
Biaggi's double and Haslam's mistakes turn the championship right around. Haslam has relinquished the title lead for the first time this year, handing Biaggi a 15 point lead. There are still 6 rounds and 12 races to go, so there is still everything left to play for. But the last thing that Haslam needed before the four week hiatus to Misano.
|1||3||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|2||2||L. Camier||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||5.899|
|3||35||C. Crutchlow||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||7.363|
|4||41||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||8.842|
|5||11||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||9.473|
|6||50||S. Guintoli||FRA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||12.293|
|7||67||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||12.483|
|8||65||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||15.959|
|9||84||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||18.897|
|10||99||L. Scassa||ITA||Ducati 1098R||20.372|
|11||111||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||26.823|
|12||76||M. Neukirchner||GER||Honda CBR1000RR||30.344|
|13||77||C. Vermeulen||AUS||Kawasaki ZX 10R||33.337|
|14||66||T. Sykes||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||38.772|
|15||23||B. Parkes||AUS||Honda CBR1000RR||44.994|
|RET||96||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||3 Laps|
|RET||15||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||6 Laps|
|RET||52||J. Toseland||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||7 Laps|
|RET||95||R. Hayden||USA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||9 Laps|
|RET||7||C. Checa||ESP||Ducati 1098R||14 Laps|
|RET||91||L. Haslam||GBR||Suzuki GSX-R1000||14 Laps|