WSBK: 2012 Donington Results – Video
BMW earned its first-ever World Superbike race win at the U.K.’s Donington Park, but missed out on sweeping the round after teammates Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri crashed on the final corner while battling for the lead in the second race.
Melandri earned BMW its landmark first win in Race One leading Haslam in a one-two finish. They could have repeated that finish in Race Two but Haslam low-sided after making contact with Honda‘s Jonathon Rea trying to pass on the inside. That sent Haslam skidding into Melandri, ruining the chance for another double-podium.
The Race Two incident could have overshadowed the milestone victory in Race One, but BMW must be relieved its flagship S1000RR superbike finally earned a race win in its fourth year of competition.
Race One Highlights
Haslam and Melandri had strong starts to the first race along with pole-sitter Tom Sykes of Kawasaki and Effenbert-Liberty Ducati‘s Sylvain Guintoli. Haslam, racing in front of his partisan home crowd, led the first three laps before getting passed by Sykes.
The Kawasaki racer led the next eight laps with the two BMWs on his tail and Aprilia‘s Max Biaggi also in the mix.
Haslam regained the lead on Lap 12 with Sykes and Melandri continuing to swap podium positions. Melandri finally went through on his teammate on Lap 19 and held on to win by 0.728 seconds. Sykes competed the podium in third place followed by Rea and Biaggi.
Race Two Highlights
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Race Two started with Biaggi taking the holeshot followed by Sykes and the two BMW factory riders. Not far behind them, however, defending WSBK Champion Carlos Checa of Althea Ducati crashed after touch the rear wheel of Eugene Laverty‘s Aprilia RSV4. That collision also took out Effenbert-Liberty’s Jakub Smrz, eliminating two Ducati 1098Rs from the race.
Sykes soon took over the lead while Rea and Melandri bumped rounding a corner. Both riders were able to recover but continued to trail Sykes, Biaggi and Haslam.
Sykes led the first 16 laps before being passed by both Haslam and Melandri on Lap 17. Sykes began to fade as Biaggi and Rea challenged the two S1000RR riders.
The race reached its climax on the final corner of the last lap as Melandri ran wide trying to pass his teammate. Haslam responded by turning in just as Rea came charging up the inside. Haslam low-sided and skidded into his teammate, ending his hopes for a win on his home circuit.
Rea claimed his second win of the season, finishing 0.508 seconds ahead of Biaggi with Sykes again completing the podium.
After five rounds, Biaggi holds on to the lead in the championship standings with 128.5 points. A pair of third-place finishes for Sykes trimmed a point off Biaggi’s lead to sit second at 123.5 points. The victory for Rea bumps him up several spots to third place with 108 points. A disappointing weekend for Checa saw him walk away with only 10 points, dropping him from second place to fourth at 105.5 points. Melandri is next at 97.5 points while Haslam sits sixth with 89.
The 2012 World Superbike Championship continues May 28 with its only U.S. stop at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, near Salt Lake City.
[Source: WSBK, BMW]
Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.
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