2012 Magny Cours WSBK Race Two: A Fitting End To The Season

Called a wet race, the last World Superbike race of the year would be an ample reminder of the year's mixed weather conditions and close racing. 

The title went down to the last race, with Max Biaggi needing fifth place or better to clinch his second World Superbike title, regardless of where Tom Sykes finished.

Carlos Checa got the hole shot, but Tom Sykes blasted past him immediately, followed by Max Biaggi's team mate Eugene Laverty, while Il Corsaro rode in the tenth place he qualified in.

Sykes led Laverty, race one winner Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam as the front four made a break from the pack. Back in tenth place, Loris Baz duelled with Max Biaggi, Baz playing the ideal team mate by hampering the title leader, but Biaggi soon dispatched him and Marco Melandri. Melandri's BMW spat him off unceremoniously and Baz had to take evasive action to miss the BMW that was tumbling down the tarmac and crashed out in the gravel. Max Biaggi was then promoted to 6th place by attrition, with Leon haslam making an error that pushed him behind the Roman, and Biaggi set about to beat Carlos Checa to aim at the fifth place he needed.

While Sykes had to deal with a fast Sylvain Guintoli on his tail, Biaggi was in the middle of an Althea Ducati sandwich. Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi fought like old duellists, but the favour went to Biaggi and he was able to make a run from the pack in the magical fifth place he needed.

At the front, Sykes was able to manage his lead, as Jonathan Rea passed Sylvain Guintoli for second place, and Eugene Laverty was informed his team mate was nine seconds behind him, but luckily for Laverty, team orders weren't needed.

Tom Sykes won the race, but Max Biaggi took the title by half a point.

2012 gave us a title fight that was undecided until the last race and then by the closest margin possible, with five manufacturers in the top five places demonstrating the rules writers got it right. 


Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 66 SYKES T Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'39.354  
2 65 REA J Honda CBR1000RR 1'39.252 1.354
3 50 GUINTOLI S Ducati 1098R 1'39.358 2.393
4 58 LAVERTY E Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'39.557 13.122
5 3 BIAGGI M Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'39.632 13.955
6 34 GIUGLIANO D Ducati 1098R 1'39.237 18.229
7 7 CHECA C Ducati 1098R 1'39.761 18.430
8 19 DAVIES C Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'40.414 26.648
9 86 BADOVINI A BMW S1000 RR 1'40.331 33.809
10 2 CAMIER L Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.402 37.217
11 121 BERGER M Ducati 1098R 1'40.880 38.871
12 71 CORTI C Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.989 55.714
13 87 ZANETTI L Ducati 1098R 1'40.801 57.621
14 4 AOYAMA H Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.235 1'05.487
15 64 BRIGNOLA N BMW S1000 RR 1'43.452 1 Lap
16 91 HASLAM L BMW S1000 RR 1'39.594 7 Laps
17 84 FABRIZIO M BMW S1000 RR 1'40.034 14 Laps
18 33 MELANDRI M BMW S1000 RR 1'39.430 17 Laps
19 76 BAZ L Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.693 17 Laps


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I remember 1994 - i was nine then - i had a huge poster of the Black Aprilia of Max. 18 years later, he's still winning. Amazing !

He's had some great races this year. And how much pressure he had to handle on the last round ! Winning by the smallest of margin.

Great job by Sykes, as always.

Et bravo Sylvain !!!

Such a shame Max got run off from the GP paddock because of Honda politics.

I wonder if we'll see Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner doing it at his age?

Today was for all the fanboys who said Rossi had it easy against this guy..and one or two others.

Well done to The Pirate.. a TRUE champ.

only way it would have been better was if it had been a battle between sykes and biaggi for the lead and the championship...
hats off to everyone and heres hoping we get as competitive a battle next season as well....

David, may I please borrow some of your heart pills? I ran out about halfway through Race Two ... :)

Congrats to Max. Here's to old age and treachery!

Congratulations to a winner. This season was a rollercoaster without real contender. Biaggi was fast but not that far from others, then Melandri on BMW made huge progress only to lose it after reaching 1st in standings (ex F1 BMW fate?) and the king of Superpole - Sykes - really wasn't as bright during races but looking at the results, lap records, superpoles and few wins all this speaks itself. Kawasaki this year is decent and constant and reminds Scott Russel's or Akira Yanagawa's times. Really impressive after all those years of being nowhere.
I was all but 100% behind Sykes this year mostly during last race at Magny-Cours.
He needed a few miracles and all this happened today but even reaching full performance in second race it was not enough at the end.
Mybe this 0,5 point perfectly shows where Kawasaki was all this season? But at the same time self crash filled and 5th at the end Biaggi showed his WDC is more speculational than practical.
Hope in 2013 Kawasaki will outperfom Ducati, Aprilia and Honda in better conditions also with better luck and without half points cut...

I make that 8 winners from 7 teams on bikes from 5 manufacturers with the top 5 in the championship on the top 5 makes. And Suzuki got on the podium a couple of times as well. Now if only Yamaha had been there too.

Magny Cours served as yet another demonstration of why the Superbikes are much more interesting and entertaining to watch than that tawdry, third-rate little MotoGP thingie.

However, a correction for Jared Earle's assertion that: " Max Biaggi needing fifth place or better to clinch his second World Superbike title, regardless of where Tom Sykes finished."

In fact, Biaggi ONLY needed to finish fifth or better, IF Sykes was leading. If Tom had been back in the pack, Max would have had to do very little at all to clinch the title.

And would someone tell jbond that this year we have had nine (9) race winners in the REAL World Championship.

Starting from race one at Phillip Island, we have had Max Biaggi, then Carlos Checa, Sylvain Guintoli, Johnny Rea, Tom Sykes, Marco Melandri, Loris Baz, Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty.

The winning teams were: Aprilia, Althea Ducati, Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, BMW, ParkinGO Aprilia and Pata Ducati. So that's eight (8) teams representing five (5) manufacturers.

But wiith Pata sponsoring Honda and the Effenbert team presumably gone, along with the BMW factory team, it looks as if only nine (9) riders are thus far confirmed for the 2013 eni Superbike World Championship.

Anyone have any better information on that?

I missed Loris Baz for some reason. And of course that Guintoli won for two teams. I guess the point remains though. I have trouble thinking of any championship anywhere that has had so many winners over the course of a season.

As for changes, I didn't like the 3 phase qualifying with 2 qualifiers but it now seems to work. I definitely don't like the single bike rule but the side effects haven't been too bad this year. Maybe, perhaps, Ducati were penalised a little too much this year but they still won 6 races (hope I got that right!) and had 11 podiums or so. It's still too expensive and still probably rewards factories that outspend the rest, but even that argument has plenty of exceptions. It would be nice to have races in the far east in places like Japan, Indonesia, Thailand rather than Russia and at least the possibility of wild cards but look we've got an Indian race next year! And finally as has been said elsewhere, it should have more TV coverage and internet streaming but I'm lucky and have Eurosport UK. So that's all good then! Let's just hope that Dorna or whoever it is in charge now doesn't screw it up too much because it's really not that broken.

"Max Biaggi needing fifth place or better to clinch his second World Superbike title, regardless of where Tom Sykes finished."

This sentence is correct as if Max Biaggi finished fifth or better, it didn't matter where Tom Sykes finished. I'll try to be less ambiguous next time. :)

Great end to the season although I was pulling for Sykes. Also here we are a day later and only 8 comments here. As close as WSBK racing is this is just another example of how it isn't MotoGP. If there was a MotoGP press release stating that it would still be called MotoGP next year it would get more than eight comments.

Always guaranteed something to get you out of your seat in WSBK, I loved Race 1 in the wet where Guinters went into a bend three abreast and overtook both Melandri and Sykes at once, what a spectacle - brilliant.

I think the 6 kg handicap of the Ducatis was too much, the top speed disadvantage was ridiculous, Checa hardly put a foot wrong last year, but I think he was having to push the bike too hard (that's what he reckons anyway).

Looking forward to next year.

Bar none the most exciting end to a championship I've seen since Hayden took 2006 in Velencia, or when Hopkins just missed out of the BSB title.

This might have taken the new title. 1/2 point... can't get closer than that :)