Last set of images from the World Superbike round in Misano Adriatico, Italy, and once again we close the chapter with a bunch of pictures starring the awesome ladies who attended the races. Paddock Girls, Umbrella Girls, Grid Girls, you choose the name you like the best, but we are pretty sure that this whole lot of Italian beauty will not let you down.
View the full Paddock Girls Superbike Misano 2012 photo gallery
Italy’s Max Biaggi came out as the absolute winner at the latest World Superbike round in Misano Adriatico, Italy. The Aprilia Factory rider, 10th on the starting grid, won Race-1 after an extensive battle with all of the best riders in the series, while in Race-2 he immediately said goodbye to the pack and off he went taking victory in dominating fashion, showing off a pace that was simply unsustainable for all his opponents. Here is a nice photo gallery showing some of the best ‘away-from-the-track’ moments of the weekend, including Biaggi’s celebrations as well as a very special appearance from the youngest member of his family.
We’ve got a super hot and massive gallery of pics (226) from this weekend’s spectacular seventh round of the World Superbike championship at the Misano World Circuito Marco Simoncelli.
Max Biaggi left the third Italian round with a double victory (his 19th in WSBKs) and fifty very points and a comfortable 38.5 points advantage in the standings, but admitted that he still isn’t resting easy, “As things can change as early as the next race and we can’t be unprepared. There is still room for improvement in acceleration, our rivals have progressed enormously, from Honda to BMW.”
Max Biaggi Italian fans: How fitting is it for an Italian rider like Max Biaggi to take a double victory at Misano the day after the circuit adopted the name Marco Simoncelli, and with his crewchief Aligi Deganello being Marco’s former crewchief?
We don’t know if it is fitting or just a coincidence that the stars aligned this way today, but the Roman Emperor showed the world (and refuted the late Enzo Ferrari’s theory again) that being over forty and having two children doesn’t take away neither the passion nor the will to fighting against the odds of starting 10th on the grid and risking on tire choice (he picked the bigger 200mm softer tire) and this season he’s been highly consistent, while his title rivals have all made massive and costly errors.
The Aprilia rider now commands a comfortable 38.5-point lead in the championship (Misano may result as the turning point in the championship title) with Jonathan Rea in second followed by Tom Sykes. Marco Melandri dropped from second to fourth. While Carlos Checa continues to be fifth in the standings, but another DNF today (his third in five races) has the reigning world champion 60 points behind Biaggi
Here are some rider quotes following this seventh round and after the jump you’ll find the Race 2 highlight video:
Max Biaggi (1st and 1st)
“It was an amazing weekend, after Superpole which forced me to start from the third row, as we able to stay focused and express myself well during the race. After the test sessions I chose a tyre which wasn’t the fastest as far as lap times go, but the one that gave me more confidence. In any case I had to take some risks because there are very few places to overtake here, but in the end I was successful and I’m leaving Misano with an incredible double win. I’d like to thank the guys on the Team who always work well and I would like to dedicate this victory to my girlfriend Eleonora and my son Leon, who was here at the track for the first time to see me race.”
The Aprilia rider had another excellent start and coming from 10th on the grid was up to fourth at the first turn and third by the end of lap one, he then smoothly picked off with two high precision overtakes Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes to take the lead on lap four and clear out putting more than a seven second margin between himself and the rest of the field and then coast to a 5.5 second and his second victory of the day.
None of the field was able to match Biaggi’s impressive race pace as the higher track temperatures in Race 2 slowed lap times down, but this time tire choice played a less an important part in the final finishing order, as front end crashes from Sylvain Guintoli, Carlos Checa, Davide Gugliano, Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies eliminated some of the expected battles in their rush to catch some of the front runners.
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam took the second and third place on the podium, after chasing each other for almost the entire race distance, with Honda rider managing to skillfully avoid the unwanted attentions of Pocket Rocket.
Marco Melandri finished in a decent fourth after his DNF in race 1 after keeping an excellent Ayrton Badovini at bay - who took his best result of the season on the BMW satellite machine. Melandri also went under investigation after he was accused of causing Carlos Checa to crash out on lap 4 at the Curva del Rio. The Italian tried to punch his way through with an aggressive overtake on the unhappy Althea rider, but the Race Direction after reviewing the footage deemed it to be a normal racing incident and decided not to take any action.
The Goldbet BMW Italia team was also happy as Michel Fabrizio scored one of his best results so far this season finishing in sixth and keeping at bay Kawaski duo Tom Sykes who faded to seventh after leading the race and an excellent Loris Baz who charged up to eighth to try to engage in a battle with his team mate and Fabrizio. Jakub Smrz finished in 9th ahead of wildcard rider Matteo Baiocco who closed out the top ten.
Yesterday we said that the World Superbike races would be interesting at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and Race 1 proved us right, as it was hard fought thriller and once again tire choice and wear made the difference.
Max Biaggi took his second victory of the season - his first was at the season opener at Phillip Island - at his home circuit. The Roman Emperor despite starting on the third row and in 10th and running wide several times in the first part of the race, managed to keep his cool and cross under the chequered flag ahead of other back starter Carlos Checa, who took second, ahead of his strong Althea Racing team mate Davide Giugliano,
Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes was on pole position, but it was Jonathan Rea who took the lead at turn one, the Honda rider managed to keep the rest of the field at bay for several laps as the riders began jockeying for positions with passes and re-passes as two distinct groups formed in the first third of the race.
Rea lead the first group made up of Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Leon Haslam, while the second group made up Ayrton Badovini, Marco Melandri, Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa and Eugene Laverty who exchanged positions several times, until Marco Melandri broke away on the fifth lap and began closing on Giugliano, while Checa ran off track in an attempted pass on Badovini giving Biaggi his spot.
Tomorrow’s World Superbike double header at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (the name was officialized today) will be highly interesting and hopefully very fought out as the previous sessions were very tight and three of the title contenders, Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa will be starting in the third and fourth rows after a disastrous Superpole so everyone expects them to slice through the field.
Here’s what some of the the riders had to say after today’s Superpole
Tom Sykes - 1st
“It looks like the qualifying tyres change the balance of the bike and we have been working in a similar set-up direction all weekend. So it looks like when we get to qualifying the softer tyres really benefit our package. It is really valuable information and the data is something we can use to build on for the future. I used all but one of the five available rear tyre options they have here, maybe saving one to try tomorrow. I am quite happy with two of the tyres for race use right now so let’s see what tomorrow’s track conditions bring. I had a big moment at the end of Superpole one when I think I hit a little puddle of water on the rumple strip and the back end stepped out. There was no mistake on my part but just a bit of a puddle of water. I managed to hold tight on the handlebars and got through the moment OK.”
A thunderstorm and some rain at the Misano Adriatico Marco Simoncelli circuit, half an hour before the start of the Superpole forced the race direction to declare the session wet, so it was just two twenty minute splits that decided today’s Superpole
Several of the top riders decided to stay in the their pits and wait for the track to start to dry out letting some of the braver riders turn the first wheels on the slippery track and get a feel of the conditions as the skies cleared up and the sun began to shine.
The changing track conditions and a completely wrong timing strategy for some and others unable to use their first qualifying tire properly caught out three high profile riders like Max Biaggi, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa who were unable to get into the final stint. Biaggi qualified 10th, Melandri 13th and Checa was a lowly 16th, not a position to start in if you want to try to retain your title and are already lagging in 5th in the standings.
Tom Sykes instead grabbed his fifth Superpole of the 2012 season (out of seven attempts) and another Tissot watch to add to his growing collection. The Kawasaki rider’s flying lap of 1.35.375 left the rest of the seven riders adrift by more than one massive second, until Jonathan Rea managed tip into the 1.35s by just .009s and close the gap to 0.616s and take the second spot on the starting grid.
Ayrton Badovini was the fastest BMW rider as he took his best ever Superpole position by qualifying third with his satellite machine and the next surprise of the session was Althea Racing’s rookie Davide Giugliano closing out the front row.
Opening the second row will be Jakub Smrz on his Liberty Racing Team Effenbert Ducati followed by Leon Haslam on the factory BMW, while Eugene Laverty took the sixth spot for Aprilia. Sylvain Guintoli ended up eighth after a big front end crash at the Misano 2 turn took him out of the running while he was heading towards second place and he was unable to rejoin the session and better his position.
The last final World Superbike free practice ahead of this afternoon’s Superpole at Misano Adriatico saw Carlos Checa regain the top of the timesheets. The Althea Ducati rider lapped in 1′36.172 leaving Jonathan Rea in second and 0.152 adrift and followed by BMW Motorrad Motorsport duo, Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, in third and fourth respectively
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing) who posted the fastest time in the second qualifying practice took the fifth spot ahead Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing), Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) and Davide Giugliano. The Althea rookie ended up in higher postition on the charts this afternoon, after he lost the front of his Ducati in a crash at turn 4 halfway through the session.
Kawasaki’s Loris Baz continues to impress as he was up to ninth and just 0.657s from Checa and ahead of Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert), Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet), while Matteo Baiocco who provisionally qualified 7th for the Superpole, ended up a lowly 19th and massive 1.5 seconds slower than this morning.
In the final qualifying practice ahead of this afternoon’s Superpole, Tom Sykes found the pace he was looking for and it looks like he wants another Tissot watch as the Kawasaki rider went under the 1.36 minute barrier to lap in 1′35.935 and leaving Carlos Checa to take the second spot.
While the gaps were a little less tighter than in yesterday’s QP1, there where still seventeen riders within a second. Checa’s team mate Davide Giugliano ended up third followed by Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam.
The surprise of the session was wild card Matteo Baiocco, who qualified seventh making it into Superpole with his Barni Racing Team Italia branded Ducati after yesterday’s 17th position. Leon Camier finished in 8th while Sylvain Guintoli and Max Biaggi were safely in 9th and 10th respectively, with Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty right behind his team mate.
Marco Melandri who yesterday impressed in the first free practice qualified only 13th behind Pata Racing’s Lorenzo Zanetti. Ayrton Badovini, Michel Fabrizio and Loris Baz were the final riders to pass into Superpole.
Out of this afternoon’s Superpole will be: Maxime Berger, John Hopkins, Niccolo Canepa (who crashed), Hiroshi Aoyama,Chaz Davies, David Salom, Leandro Mercado and Federico Sandi who also suffered another crash.