Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes won a rain-shortened race two at Monza, the Brit earning half points for the race that ran half distance and was the only World Superbike race held today following the cancellation of race one.
Sykes had things in hand, easily pulling away to a commanding lead when race organizers opted to pull the plug when rain came on the eighth of 16 scheduled laps. Earlier the first race had been scrapped with SBK officials concerned that the Pirelli rain tires weren’t up to the task at the high-speed circuit after some had come apart in practice.
It was a fitting end to a dismal day at the 25th anniversary round of the series at Monza as race two almost never even happened. After some 15 minutes of discussion after the warm-up lap, the race went ahead as planned.
It started roughly for pole sitter Sylvain Guintoli as he and Michel Fabrizio both ran into mechanical woes on the warm-up lap and didn’t make the start.
Sykes took full advantage to take his first win of the year, the Kawasaki man leading by some nine seconds when the race was stopped. Unfortunately for Sykes, he only gets half points (12.5 instead of the full 25) for his efforts.
Second place went to BMW’s Leon Haslam, the Brit barely besting Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty, the Irishman completing an all U.K. podium.
Marco Melandri rode the second factory BMW to fifth ahead of Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, Honda’s Jonathan Rea and defending World Champion Carlos Checa. Second through seventh were covered by just a fraction over a second.
Checa’s teammate Davide Giugliano was eighth with Jakub Smrz and Ayrton Badovini rounding out the top 10.
After four rounds of the series, Biaggi lead the title chase with 97.5 points – two ahead of Checa. Sykes is third with 91.5 with Melandri fourth on 72.5 and Rea fifth with 70.
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Leon Haslam (BWM)
3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia)
4. Marco Melandri (BMW)
5. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
6. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
7. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
8. David Giugliano (Ducati)
9. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
10. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)