WSBK – Twists and turns of all kinds in Misano! – First Superbike race

Twists and turns of all kinds in Misano !

WSBK - Twists and turns of all kinds in Misano! - First Superbike race

This 8th round of the SBK World Cup was marked by various incidents: rain in the first Superbike round, oil on the track in Supersport and a technical problem on a high-tech machine in the second Superbike round…. Funny Sunday !

First Superbike race

When starting the warm-up lap, the second place remains empty: Johnny Rea will have to start from the last row! Troy Corser for his part is surprised before the start: victim of a highside during the warm-up lap, the Australian gets up – he didn’t hurt his right shoulder again, phew! – and slowly reach the stands on foot…

"We don’t really know what happened, but we think of an electronics problem", explains Troy on his return to the pits while his little comrades have fun on the track:"I did not open the throttle in an amazing way, but all of a sudden the bike accelerated and knocked me off !"

Spies got off to a good start, but Byrne came first at the end of the straight and came out on top of the first corner! The delicate conditions fully benefit the English who lead far ahead of Smrz, Spies, Checa, Haga and Fabrizio.

Halfway through this first lap, Carlos Checa brakes Spies. A great fight begins between the two men, in the face of the official Ducatis followed by Biaggi, Rea, Kagayama and Lavilla.

But Checa loses the rhythm: he is passed by Spies then Fabrizio, who quickly overtakes the American … Michel wants to shine at home, but for the moment it is Shane Byrne who is talking about him: on his private Ducati, " Shakey "enjoys himself, as does Jakub Smrz who rolls 3 seconds behind him.

On the third lap, Jonathan Rea learns that he has to make a pit passage … Too bad, because the Honda rider had just passed Haga and was already aiming for Spies! Behind, Checa and Lavilla try to stay in contact. Further on, another group fights: Biaggi is overwhelmed by Nakano then Sykes, the English overtaking the Japanese a few turns further.

In the 6th lap, Rea takes his penalty and emerges past the points. Alone in the lead, Byrne is enjoying himself and is more than 8 seconds ahead of Smrz, also lonely. The 3rd place is more disputed since Fabrizio is slow to distance Spies. Slowly but surely the sun is appearing and with the wind the track may well dry out completely before the halfway point. !

For the first time, the World Superbike could therefore see its riders enter the pits to change mounts, as in MotoGP! In the 10th lap, Haga loses two places: Lavilla and Hacking overtake him, imitated after the straight by Haslam !

And precisely, the first rider to change his motorcycle is a MotoGP alumnus: Shinya Nakano! The next lap, Shane Byrne chooses to continue his race on his rain tires and his pursuers do the same, apart from Haga. !

In the space of two laps, the battle for 3rd place changes: Smrz is still on the 2nd step but after being pressed by Fabrizio and Spies, it is Checa who goes up on the two acolytes and passes Smrz! Halfway through the race, Spies decides to leave his opponents to take his R1 paved with slicks.

Byrne meanwhile is about to put a lap to the last: Shakey is in the lead ahead of Carlos Checa – at 17 seconds! -, Jakub Smrz and Ruben Xaus … But these four pilots have not yet reached the pits and are turning much slower than Ben Spies (9th) or Noriyuki Haga (11th)…

Checa passes in the pits but, like his teammate Rea who was not spoiled during this first round, struggles to start again !

Byrne changes bikes on the 15th lap, leaving the lead to … Xaus, the first S1000RR rider to lead a World Superbike race! "I felt comfortable in these wet conditions and if the track had remained dry we could have surprised everyone", believes the Spaniard, later forced to return to the pits due to the complete wear of his rain tires…

During this time, Spies gets rid of his opponents one by one: Fabrizio, Lavilla, Haslam, Smrz, Hacking then Byrne each give way! The American is in 2nd place behind Xaus: the BMW is in sight and the gap is quickly melting…

Haga fails to emulate his biggest rival in the championship: "maybe our intermediate / slick combination was not that suitable, because in the last laps I struggled to maintain my pace", analyzes the Japanese, 5th in this round.

Seven laps from the end, Spies takes control of the race! Like him, Byrne makes short work of Xaus and climbs to 2nd place on the podium. And it was only five laps from the end that Xaus passed through the pits, giving Fabrizio the last step of the podium..

"I did my best to stick to Ben, but I think it made the difference that he changed his tires a laps or two before me.", analyzes the transalpine pilot.

Smrz is 4th, proving thanks to this result – best time on the track on the penultimate lap – that he can also turn quickly in the race. Further on, Kagayama and Haga are fighting for 5th place. While Noriyuki, slowed down for a moment by Lavilla, manages to get the better of her big pal Yukio in the very last lap.

Two laps from the end, Matthieu Lagrive must resist the pressure put to him by Ruben Xaus: a 10th place is at stake! For a first race, the French driver delivers a superb performance. !

The last lap saw Smrz threaten Fabrizio: the Czech completed the previous lap two seconds faster than Fabrizio … but the Italian reacted perfectly and kept 3rd place until the checkered flag! In front of Spies and Byrne just had to unwind to get their 1st and 2nd places.

"After a difficult start to the season, I progressed gradually and I managed to obtain today a great result on the grounds of my team"Says Shane Byrne. Auspicious for" his "ordeal in a week at Donington Park !

Spies for his part can savor his 8th victory while waiting for the second round, which will perhaps allow him to collect precious points in the championship again….

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