Rea Wins Donington Park Crashfest

Cycle News Staff | May 13, 2012

Just a few hours after the two factory BMWs finished one-two in race one at Donington Park, both were on the ground in the final corner of the second World Superbike with victory instead going to Honda’s Jonathan Rea.

Controversy will reign over this one as Haslam led into the final corner seemingly set on giving BMW a perfect day in Britain, but then Melandri attempted to dive up the inside of his teammate. The Italian would go wide, with Haslam going back up the inside only to be struck by Rea. The blow knocked Haslam to the ground with Melandri unable to avoid him. Just like that the two BMWs were on the ground with Rea racing to the victory over Aprilia’s Max Biaggi by half a second. Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes watched the melee unfold and crossed the line in third place.

The race was action packed from the start with Sykes doing much of the early leading over a pack of riders giving chase. With six laps to go, Sykes would get shuffled back in the order with both Haslam and Melandri moving ahead of him. From there it was all Haslam at the front with four riders breathing down his neck- Melandri, Biaggi, Sykes and Rea. On the final lap, Haslam led Biaggi and Melandri with Rea and Sykes tucked in behind and it all came down to the final corner when all hell broke loose.

The win was Rea’s second on the year and the 10th of his World Superbike career.

Fourth place ended up going to Fixi Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier in his best finish in his debut season on the GSX-R1000. He was some four seconds behind the melee at the front and some two seconds ahead of Team Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli.

Sixth went to BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini, the Italian barely besting ParkinGo Aprilia’s Chaz Davies, the Welshman having his best result of the season. French Kawasaki privateer Loris Baz ended up eighth over Peter Hickman, the replacement rider for John Hopkins on the Fixi Crescent Suzuki. Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama finished 10th.

Haslam, meanwhile, remounted to finish 15th.

Defending World Champion Carlos Checa, Effenbert Liberty Racing’s Jakub Smrz and Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano all crashed on the opening lap of the race.

Biaggi’s runner-up finish gives him a five-point lead in the championship over Sykes, 128.5-123.5. Rea is third on 108 with Checa fourth on 105.5. Melandri is fifth with 97.5 points.

Race Two

1.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

2.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

3.                  Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)

4.                  Leon Camier (Suzuki)

5.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati_

6.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW)

7.                  Chaz Davies (Aprilia)

8.                  Loris Baz (Kawasaki)

9.                  Peter Hickman (Suzuki)

10.                  Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda)