MISANO, RACE 2: BIAGGI TENTH
The bad weather didn’t discourage the 65,000 extremely enthusiastic Superbike fans who gathered in the stands at the Misano World Circuit for these three days of races. Fortunately, the rain held off and the public was able to watch a race that remained exciting and competitive until the very last metre. Jonathan Rea, on the Ten Kate team’s Honda, won in the final sprint, ahead of the Ducati Factories that were driven by Fabrizio and Haga.
Haga started off quite well and immediately took command, attempting to break away, but Rea, Fabrizio and Spies were glued to his rear wheel, until the American experienced a technical problem during the third lap that pushed him back to last place. However, he managed to stay in the race and regained some ground, climbing to ninth position after a prodigious recovery. During the fourth lap, Rea moved into the lead and about halfway through the race he tried to shake the two Ducati drivers, but a crazed Fabrizio refused to budge even one metre and took control during the eighteenth lap. Rea tried his best to win the race, attacking the Roman driver at each of the curves of the Misano circuit, also keeping Haga at bay, who attempted to improve his standing in the world championship rankings, considering the problems Spies was having. The last lap was breathtaking, and saw Rea succeed in an impossible takeover, skilfully closing off all opportunities to Fabrizio, beating him out in the final sprint by just sixty-three thousandths of a second.
Max Biaggi finished in tenth place, the result of an imperfect start which made it impossible for him to catch up with the group of runaways at the outset, leaving him in ninth place for the entire race. Just three laps from the end of the race, the Roman driver was also overtaken by Spies, who was regaining ground after the technical problem he encountered during the initial laps, leaving Max in tenth place.
And it was thirteenth place for Shinya Nakano, who tried to recover from a bad start, but remained stuck among the little group that was battling it out for eleventh position.
“We started off with a lot of enthusiasm because this was one of our home races, not just for me, but also for the team,” stated Biaggi. “But it didn’t go very well. We were unlucky in the Superpole, and the rain really influenced Race 1, when I was able to re-enter a few laps early to change the bike. Instead, we had some serious problems in Race 2. We need to take a step forward because the others have grown quite a bit and we’re not as competitive as we used to be. Now we’ll do a test after the Donington race and I hope that some important novelties will arrive from Brno.”
“I had a good start in Race 1,” said Nakano, “but then it was difficult to set a good pace with the rain, so when I noticed that the track was starting to dry up, I changed my motorcycle right away, taking advantage of my experience with MotoGP. It didn’t go too badly. Instead, during Race 2, I had a bad start, I tried to recover but I ended up in a group where we all had the same pace and it was difficult to pass. It wasn’t an easy weekend, we were a bit stagnant with respect to the crescendo of the most recent races, but we need to look ahead to be able to do well in Donington next week.”
GARA 1: NAKANO CHIUDE IN NONA POSIZIONE, BIAGGI 13°
RACE 1: NAKANO FINISHES IN NINTH PLACE, BIAGGI THIRTEENTH
Despite it being the first day of summer, rain dominated Race 1 of the San Marino Superbike round taking place at the Misano World Circuit. The rain started to fall in the morning and continued throughout the day, forcing the competition’s organizers to postpone the Superstock 1000 race due to the water as well as an accident at the beginning of the event. Ben Spies won Race 1 of the SBK on his Yamaha Factory, finishing ahead of Byrne with the Sterilgarda team’s private Ducati, and Fabrizio ended up in third place also on a Ducati.
It stopped raining just a few minutes before the top class of production derived bikes entered the circuit and a pale sun broke through the clouds, but the track was still wet from the rain when the race began. Byrne started off splendidly and immediately took command, breaking away from his competitors. Just behind him there was great battle for the podium among Fabrizio, Spies, Haga and Checa, with the first three also challenging one another for the world championship title from a distance. Lap after lap, the track began to dry up and so the roundabout of the changing of the bikes began with Nakano who re-entered the box first during the ninth lap while he was in thirteenth place. He began to make up about five seconds per lap immediately after the change. The situation was in constant flux with Byrne who chose to remain on the track as long as possible, given the excellent lead he had obtained, but Spies managed to set an impressive pace using slicks and after just a few laps, he caught up to and passed the Brit, and took off towards his eighth win of the season. There was a battle for the third step on the podium between Fabrizio, who was overtaken by Smrz, who was very fast, but in the end, the Roman driver was the winner.
Nakano finished Race 1 in ninth place. The Japanese driver started off decently but failed to find the right feeling with his RSV4 on the wet track. He re-entered the box in the ninth lap to change his motorcycle, opting for the one with the slick tyres and from twentieth position, he began a nice recovery to ninth place.
Instead, Max Biaggi finished in thirteenth place after starting off well and completing the first few laps in the lead. However, he then quickly lost ground and changed his bike during the fifteenth lap, re-entered the race in twentieth position, but just like his team mate, only managed to recapture three points.