Results and summary of World Superbikes race 2 at Monza:
Eugene Laverty has taken the double at Monza, by winning a bizarre and nail-biting second World Superbike race with an icy cool last-corner pass.
After the first chicane, you would have got very long odds indeed on Laverty taking the win. BMW's Troy Corser once again got the holeshot, the Australian veteran leading Aprilia's Max Biaggi through the chicane just as he had in race 1. But behind Biaggi, chaos was unleashed as Carlos Checa cut across the nose of Johnny Rea, causing the Castrol Honda rider to crash, taking Jakub Smrz and Leon Haslam with him. Laverty had also got tangled up in the chaos, and ended the first lap way down in 9th, nearly 4 seconds behind Biaggi, who had taken the lead from Corser as the bikes passed the main straight.
From that point on, the race looked like turning into an Aprilia demolition job: Biaggi led and was pulling away from the rest of the field, with only his teammate Leon Camier for (distant) company. Biaggi's lead grew as the laps ticked off, but on lap 8, the first fly in Aprilia's ointment appeared when Camier lost the front at Lesmo, crashing out for no apparent reason.
Three laps later, it was Biaggi's turn to make an unforced error: The reigning World Champion outbraked himself going into the Prima Variante chicane, and ran straight on to rejoin the track. Unfortunately, Biaggi had not followed the strict instructions the riders had been issued with prior to the event, and stuck within the white lines as he reentered the track. The Italian was called in for a ride-through, losing the nearly six second lead he had built up, and rejoining the race in 11th.
With both Biaggi and Camier out of the equation, the race was once again blown wide open. Corser had dropped back through the field, and it was Yamaha's Marco Melandri who bequeathed the lead from Biaggi. On his tail was Eugene Laverty, the Irishman and winner of race 1 having sliced through the field after having been held up at the start. The two Yamahas had a small gap over 3rd, which was subject to a brutal dispute between Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio. There were four candidates for the podium, but the order was by no means settled.
Melandri looked to have the best claim to victory, the Italian leading the race throughout. Try as he might, however, he could not shake off his shadow, in the form of his teammate Eugene Laverty. It was clear that Laverty was lining up a pass, the only question was exactly when he was going to attempt the move on his teammate. The length of time Laverty was prepared to wait was a display of icy calculation not seen in a long while. Despite having chances on the final lap, when Melandri ran wide out of Ascari giving Laverty room to pass, the Irishman kept his calm, backing off to stay right on Melandri's tail. As the pair entered the final corner, Laverty pushed Melandri on the brakes, then held the tighter line as the Italian ran wide, exactly as the Irishman expected. Laverty seized the lead, and hung on to cross the line just a few hundred meters later, adding his debut double to the debut win Laverty bagged in race 1. Melandri was left holding 2nd, with nothing he could do about.
After an epic battle between Fabrizio and Haga, featuring brave, foolish and spectacular passes by both parties on each other, it was Fabrizio who came out on top in the end, snagging the final step on the podium. Haga was left holding the wooden spoon in 4th, though not for want of trying. Carlos Checa looked like profiting from Biaggi's mistake by finishing ahead of his main title rival, but the Spaniard's Ducati lost drive in the final corner, dropping the Althea Ducati rider two places, and putting Biaggi ahead of him. Still, Checa came away from Monza leading the championship, his advantage cut, but still 28 points over Biaggi. Melandri's strong results pushed the Italian up into 2nd, 1 point ahead of the reigning champ, and 27 behind Checa.
|1||58||E. LAVERTY||IRL||Yamaha YZF R1|
|2||33||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Yamaha YZF R1||0.327|
|3||84||M. FABRIZIO||ITA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2.466|
|4||41||N. HAGA||JPN||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||2.583|
|5||11||T. CORSER||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||4.502|
|6||86||A. BADOVINI||ITA||BMW S1000 RR||10.865|
|7||50||S. GUINTOLI||FRA||Ducati 1098R||11.038|
|8||1||M. BIAGGI||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||18.724|
|9||17||J. LASCORZ||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||20.093|
|10||7||C. CHECA||ESP||Ducati 1098R||20.376|
|11||66||T. SYKES||GBR||Kawasaki ZX-10R||21.111|
|12||111||R. XAUS||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR||28.608|
|13||44||R. ROLFO||ITA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||33.459|
|14||8||M. AITCHISON||AUS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||42.810|
|15||32||F. LAI||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||55.759|
|RET||121||M. BERGER||FRA||Ducati 1098R||5 Laps|
|RET||2||L. CAMIER||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||11 Laps|
|RET||96||J. SMRZ||CZE||Ducati 1098R|
|RET||91||L. HASLAM||GBR||BMW S1000 RR|
|RET||4||J. REA||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR|