WSBK 2012: Second Place for Marco — Best Result Ever for BMW!

WSBK 2012: Second Place for Marco — Best Result Ever for BMW!

Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport celebrated its best ever result in the FIM Superbike World Championship with factory rider Marco Melandri (ITA) finishing second in the first race of the 2012 season opener at Phillip Island, Australia. A remarkable result from his starting position of 13th on the grid after Saturday’s Superpole qualifying had to be canceled — preventing the chance to challenge for a better grid position. In race two he came in sixth. His teammate, Leon Haslam (GBR), also put in a strong performance only four days after an operation to insert two screws to fix his fractured right tibia. Leon bravely fought the pain, scoring a 12th and a fifth place. Overall, Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport collected 45 points this weekend, more than ever before.

Marco Melandri celebrates his second place in his first race aboard the S1000RR.

In his first ever race on the BMW S1000RR, Marco gained several positions in the first corners, working his way further up the field as the race went on. On lap 18 he had improved to second, and defended this position against Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) right to the finish line. Leon had finished 12th in the two qualifying sessions and, despite his injuries, he was fighting for the top ten until the very last lap of race one.

“Giving BMW its best ever result in only my first race on the RR is awesome. I still cannot believe that,” said Marco. “We didn’t quite know how we would perform in the race as we hadn’t done any long runs in pre-season testing. During the race I just tried to keep my rhythm and tried not to override as I knew I would have to look after the tires. I had to wait for the right moment to pass Tom Sykes and Sylvain Guintoli. In the final two laps Sylvain was pushing very hard again, but I kept focused on my race and defended my position.”

At the start of race two, Leon moved quickly up to third and fought for the top position over the next laps. Marco meanwhile had a steady start, but improved his position lap by lap. Halfway through the race he found himself directly behind Leon in fifth. From then on, the two factory riders had an exciting inter-team battle, changing positions several times. In the end, Leon was able to hold on and finished fifth in front of Marco.

“We had a problem in race one, which I couldn’t ride around,” said Leon. “Even though just scoring points was the objective, I knew I could have done better. The boys worked really hard between races: They changed engines, electronics and the balance of the bike, and straightaway we were able to fight for a top five position. It’s a big credit to all the team and the medical staff who managed to get me out there in the first place!”

The BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet Superbike Team had a disappointing weekend. In race one, Michel Fabrizio had a difficult start and entered turn one in 15th place. He was able to maintain a good pace through the race and overtake numerous riders, however, and found himself in 7th by the last corner on the last lap, right behind Jonathan Rea. After getting a good exit, Fabrizio got into his rival’s slipstream and took 6th place just before crossing the finish line. But in race two, Michel lost the front of his S1000RR in turn four during the fourth lap. At the time of the crash he was running in 10th position. “In race two after not starting well again, I lost the front at turn four. I don’t know what caused the crash. I took a slightly different line to usual, but the speed was the same. It’s a shame, because I felt comfortable riding the bike as never before. That’s racing,” said Michel.

His teammate, Ayrton Badovini, couldn’t find the right setup for his bike and retired from both races due to lack of rear grip. “It’s been a hard weekend. I struggled riding the bike a lot,” said Ayrton. “The goal is now to solve those problems in the break between now and Imola. The team worked hard to find a set-up that worked for me, but unfortunately we didn’t get there in time.”

The races were won by Max Biaggi (ITA) and Carlos Checa (ESP). In the riders’ championship, Marco lies in second with 30 points. Leon is eighth with 15 points. In the manufacturers’ standings BMW is third with 31 points.

2012 World Superbike, Phillip Island
Race 1 Results:

1. Max Biaggi, 34m13.963s ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
2. Marco Melandri, +7.104s ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
3. Sylvain Guintoli, +7.378s FRA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
4. Tom Sykes, +12.189s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
5. Jakub Smrz, +16.424s CZE DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
6. Michel Fabrizio, +20.200s ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
7. Jonathan Rea, +20.223s GBR HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
8. Hiroshi Aoyama, +24.108s JPN HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
9. Davide Giugliano, +28.072s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
10. Bryan Staring, +34.232s AUS KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
11. Lorenzo Zanetti, +34.450s ITA DUCATI PATA Racing Team
12. Leon Haslam, +35.648s GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
13. Maxime Berger, +36.392s ITA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
14. David Salom, +41.500s SPA KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
15. Joan Lascorz, +42.086s ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
16. Josh Brookes, +42.605s AUS SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
17. Leon Camier, +43.366s GBR SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
18. Mark Aitchison, +45.225s AUS BMW Grillini Progrea Superbike Team
19. David Johnson, +1’08.782s AUS BMW Rossair AEP Racing
20. Niccolo Canepa, +1’10.440s ITA DUCATI Red Devils Roma
21. Eugene Laverty, DNF – 3 Laps IR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
22. Ayrton Badovini, DNF – 8 Laps ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
23. Carlos Checa, DNF – 17 Laps SPA DUCATI Althea Racing
24. Raffaele De Rosa, DNF ITA HONDA Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda

Race 2 Results:

1. Carlos Checa, 34m26.728s SPA DUCATI Althea Racing
2. Max Biaggi, +5.707s ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
3. Tom Sykes, +12.521s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
4. Jonathan Rea, +12.655s GBR HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
5. Leon Haslam, +18.179s GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
6. Marco Melandri, +18.831s ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
7. Maxime Berger, +18.939s ITA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
8. Eugene Laverty, +19.478s IR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
9. Hiroshi Aoyama, +19.554s JPN HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
10. Niccolo Canepa, +26.289s ITA DUCATI Red Devils Roma
11. Jakub Smrz, +26.479s CZE DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
12. Leon Camier, +29.145s GBR SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
13. Davide Giugliano, +36.482s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
14. Lorenzo Zanetti, +38.113s ITA DUCATI PATA Racing Team
15. Josh Brookes, +43.234s AUS SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
16. Bryan Staring, +43.526s AUS KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
17. Raffaele De Rosa, +53.929s ITA HONDA Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda
18. Ayrton Badovini, DNF – 11 Laps ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
19. Joan Lascorz, DNF – 12 Laps ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
20. Sylvain Guintoli, DNF – 13 Laps FRA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
21. David Salom, DNF – 14 Laps SPA KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
22. Michel Fabrizio, DNF – 18 Laps ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
23. David Johnson, DNF – 18 Laps AUS BMW Rossair AEP Racing
24. Mark Aitchison, DNF – 21 Laps AUS BMW Grillini Progrea Superbike Team

2012 World Superbike Point Standings (After 1 of 12 Rounds):

1. Max Biaggi, 45 pts ITA APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
2. Marco Melandri, 30 pts ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
3. Tom Sykes, 29 pts GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
4. Carlos Checa, 25 pts SPA DUCATI Althea Racing
5. Jonathan Rea, 22 pts GBR HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
6. Sylvain Guintoli, 16 pts FRA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
7. Jakub Smrz, 16 pts CZE DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
8. Leon Haslam, 15 pts GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Motosport
9. Hiroshi Aoyama, 15 pts JPN HONDA Honda World Superbike Team
10. Maxime Berger, 12 pts ITA DUCATI Team Effenbert Liberty Racing
11. Michel Fabrizio, 10 pts ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet
12. Davide Giugliano, 10 pts ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
13. Eugene Laverty, 8 pts IR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team
14. Lorenzo Zanetti, 7 pts ITA DUCATI PATA Racing Team
15. Niccolo Canepa, 6 pts ITA DUCATI Red Devils Roma
16. Bryan Staring, 6 pts AUS KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
17. Leon Camier, 4 pts GBR SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
18. David Salom, 2 pts SPA KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
19. Josh Brookes, 1 pts AUS SUZUKI Crescent Fixi Suzuki
20. Joan Lascorz, 1 pts ESP KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
Raffaele De Rosa, 0 pts ITA HONDA Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda
Mark Aitchison, 0 pts AUS BMW Grillini Progrea Superbike Team
David Johnson, 0 pts AUS BMW Rossair AEP Racing
Ayrton Badovini, 0 pts ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet

2012 World Superbike Manufacturer Standings (After 1 of 12 Rounds):

1. Aprilia Italy 45 pts.
2. Ducati Italy 41 pts.
3. BMW Motorrad Germany 31 pts.
4. Kawasaki Japan 29 pts.
5. Honda Japan 22 pts.
6. Suzuki Japan 4 pts.

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