WSBK: 2010 Kyalami results

Haslam wins a "real ding-dong" in South Africa

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 17, 2010
Michel Fabrizio earned his first win of the season while Leon Haslam extended his lead in the Championship standings at the May 16 World Superbike Championship round in Kyalami, South Africa.

Ducati put forth a strong showing in Race One with an easy victory for Ducati Xerox’s Fabrizio with privateer racer Carlos Checa of Althea Ducati second.

Fabrizio jumped ahead to an early lead after starting on the front row, and was never really challenged, taking his first victory since winning the final race of the 2009 season.

Race One Highlights

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“I’m really happy with the win in the first race, happy for Ducati of course but above all happy for myself,” says Fabrizio. “I really needed a result like this after several difficult races. It wasn’t easy however, I had to make an intelligent race, doing all I could to maintain the second of advantage that I had over Carlos.”

Checa has been the highest scoring Ducati rider all season, ahead of even factory riders Fabrizio and Haga. Like Fabrizio, Checa had a strong start and sat in second for the entire race while most of the action took place behind him.

Yamaha Sterilgarda’s James Toseland, Suzuki Alstare’s Haslam , Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea and the Aprilia Alitalia duo of Max Biaggi and Leon Camier formed the pack of riders trailing Checa. Toseland held the advantage over the first half of the race before being overtaken by Haslam by lap 12. Toseland continued to lose ground as the race progressed, dropping down to seventh. Haslam would take the final podium position ahead of Biaggi to pad his championship lead, while Rea outran Camier to take fifth.

Race Two Highlights

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Race Two featured a tighter battle for first. This time it was Haslam who took the early lead, followed by Biaggi and Rea. Rea would take the lead on an inside pass on the second lap, with Biaggi moving up to second on lap seven. Rea would stay in the lead for the bulk of the race until a wide approach to a corner on the second-to-last lap gave Haslam the opening he needed to take the lead for good.

“The second race was one of the best races I’ve ever been involved in and definitely one of the hardest,” says Haslam. “Jonny (Rea) and I had a real ding-dong and it was bar-to-bar stuff for almost the whole race. I passed him a few times, but he always got me back and the longer the race went on I could feel him working out where I’d pass and how he’d stop me. In the end, I had to pass at a different place and this time I made it stick and held on to the flag.”

Leon Haslam will carry a 15-point lead over Max Biaggi into Utah.

Rea would hang on to finish second ahead of Biaggi with Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Cal Crutchlow finishing in fourth. The top four riders all crossed the finish with a second of each other.

With two podium finishes, Haslam now leads Biaggi 222-207 while Rea and Checa are tied for third at 141 points.

Despite the strong showing in Race One, the Ducati riders fell back to the middle of the pack in Race Two. Checa was once again the top Ducati rider, finishing 1.5 seconds behind in fifth but Fabrizio and Haga were eight and tenth, respectively, both over 14 seconds behind Haslam. A new rule change reducing the minimum weight limit for the Ducati 1198 may help for the next few rounds.

Troy Corser failed to maintain the momentum after earning BMW its first podium result at the previous round in Monza, Italy. Corser finished 12th in Race One but improved to finish seventh in Race Two.

The 2010 World Superbike Championship continues May 31 at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

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