ALCANIZ, Spain – Like last year Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) scored a win apiece in the eni FIM Superbike World Championship round at MotorLand Aragon Saturday.
There was drama aplenty in warm conditions, but race day temperatures had cooled from the fiery intensity of the first two days, a factor that played a part for some riders in their final fortunes.
Strong winds also affected the riders today, but the abiding memory of all will be a superb second race in which Melandri held off the attentions of not only Biaggi, but also two other Aprilia riders, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia).
In race one Biaggi secured a tight win by only .278 second over Melandri. This was Biaggi’s fourth win of 2012, and his third in a row.
The top two were well clear of the battle for third, which eventually went to Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati).
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was deprived of what looked like a sure podium place when Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) lost the front of his machine, which then hit Sykes’ rear wheel, and both riders fell.
“It was a nice race. I saw I could stay in the lead. The tires are always a problem here and it’s very difficult to keep the pace, but we were working good all weekend to be comfortable with the tyres moving around,” Biaggi said. “There were only two riders in front, we tried to overtake each other and understand where and what was possible to do at the end. The result could have been the other way around but this time I did it so I’m happy.”
In race two, Melandri secured his third win of the season after a spectacularly tight fight against three other riders. S
econd was Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) who lost out by only .042 second. Immediately behind, Davies held off the attention of Biaggi to take his first ever podium in the championship, as the top four were only 0.484 second apart after 20 laps.
Behind the leading quartet Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) went fifth after recovering from another bad start, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), Checa and Sykes in basically the same group for most of the race.
“I have no words actually. After race one I was a little disappointed so I tried to get a win in race two, it was not easy because the wind was very strong,” said Melandri. “Eugene started to lead the race and was very fast, suddenly with three laps to go Max passed me and when I passed him back I went wide then Chaz passed me. We were running so wide and so fast and I had no plan for the last lap! To win here has been beautiful.”
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