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.
|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|