Published on 05 Aug 2012 by Toni M.
The first World Superbike race at Silverstone was yellow flagged after just a few corners of the first lap when David Johnson crashed and Norino Brignola plowed into the the downed Kawasaki machine, but almost simultaneously it started to rain and the race was red flagged and Maxime Berger in slowing down wiped out his team mate and pole sitter Jakub Smrz and forced Davide Guigliano to run off track.
The re-start was declared wet, because in sectors 1 and 5 of the long circuit it was raining, but in the rest of the sectors it wasn’t, and on the starting grid a last second tire choice became a gamble, but almost everyone decided on slicks, except for Smrz and Guintoli and John Hopkins who decided on wet tires and paid a very dear price as they were lapped on the 10th lap and the Suzuki rider had a technical problem on lap 11.
It was an action packed, incredibly unbelievable race with very aggressive overtakes, rain that hampered and hindered the first front runners, crashes, and it this complete chaos, Kawasaki’s Loris Baz won the race and took his maiden victory in World Superbikes and the second victory for Kawasaki after Tom Sykes won truncated race 2 at Monza.
If the 19-year old Baz took an impressive victory in a surprising three-way battle and completely forgetting about a highly treacherous wet track on the last lap, and on the final corner overtook BMW Italia’s Michel Fabrizio and team mate Ayrton Badovini who came from the back of the grid to joing the front runners and Jonathan Rea. Fabrizio took the second spot on the podium, and Badovini while crossing over the finish line in third, touched the slippery white kerb and crashed out and Jonathan Rea who was right behind was unable to avoid the downed BMW machine somersaulted over it.
Carlos Checa got the holeshot, as all hell broke loose behind him, with Baz immediately passing him but it was Sykes who gained the lead, while the Althea Ducati rider ran wide pushing out an aggressive Leon Camer, both returned and the race continued with Leon Haslam taking the lead on the Brooklands Corner with Baz and Sykes on his tail with an incredible fight for the third place in the first two opening laps.
The BMW factory rider was still in the lead on the third lap while Carlos Checa moved up to third as Sykes put an aggressive pass on Max Biaggi who found some confidence. Checa moved to the front of the field on the fifth lap and immediately gained a decent gap ahead of Haslam, Sykes and Camier who jockeying for positions while Biaggi was slightly further back finding his hands full with Lors Baz as the marshals indicated rain in the second and third sectors and then all over the track.
Checa at that point seemed to have a comfortable two second lead as English riders Sykes, Camier and Haslam, not caring about the dangerous conditions, battle it out for second. Ayrton Badovini who made an incredible run the field began battling with Jonathan Rea and team mate Michel Fabrizio for 8th spot as the caught Max Biaggi and both passed him.
As the race continued under the rain, Checa began to visibly slow down and just a few corners later was caught by Haslam, Sykes and Camier and on the 14th lap the BMW rider outbraked Checa at the Stowe as the Spaniard ran wide losing several positions.
Haslam continued to lead the race until the 18th lap, as the second spot was contended over by Camier, Baz and Sykes as they battled it while the Suzuki rider crashed out at turn 13 after he had gained the second place. With Camier out, Badovini and Fabrizio moved in and began to chase after Baz and Haslam and caught both of them, as the Kawasaki rider took the lead as Haslam began to fade. Baz, Fabrizio and Badovini began fighting for the first position as Max Biaggi highsided at the end of the Aintree Corner after touching the kerb on the last lap, giving Jonatha Rea the fourth spot.
In the rest of the chaotic lap Baz got the better drive out of the corner ahead of Fabrizio and Badovini and Rea.
After leading the race Checa and Haslam ended up 5th and 6th respectively, while Marco Melandri who never seemed in contention for the win took 7th and further closed up the gap in the standings to Biaggi. Tom Sykes after being banged around by almost everyone ended up 8th followed by a distant Davide Giugliano in 9th and Eugene Laverty closed out the top ten.
WSBK Silverstone Race 1 Results:
1. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40′46.128
2. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 40′46.511
3. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 40′46.587
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 40′46.667
5. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 40′47.140
6. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 40′48.747
7. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 40′52.251
8. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40′55.298
9. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 41′05.150
10. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 41′05.215
11. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 41′15.968
12. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 41′16.286
13. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 41′30.350
14. Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 42′06.515
15. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 42′28.826
16. Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 41′27.489
17. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 41′53.544
RT. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38′23.341
RT. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 30′28.566
RT. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 31′11.647
RT. John Hopkins (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 21′57.027
NS. Norino Brignola (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR
NS. David Johnson (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R