Checa back on top with Race Two win
CARLOS Checa has taken the win in the second World Superbike Championship race at Phillip Island.
But it was Max Biaggi who stole the show by finishing second after working his way back through the pack from dead last after a running off the track in the first lap.
And Brit Tom Sykes took a hard-fought third after seeing-off Jonathan Rea's Honda over the line.
It seemed Biaggi's good form after his Race One win had abandoned him at the start when he took a large excursion across the grass and re-joined the pack right at the back.
Out at the front the Kawasaki of Sykes held off Checa's Althea Ducati for a lap and a half, but Rea was on a charge, passing Checa and then moving into the lead on Lap Three.
Moments later Checa also passed Sykes, and sat behind Rea until Lap Five when he made the move.
Hitting the front he immediately took off into the sunset, never to be troubled again.
But behind, a much bigger battle was raging between Leon Haslam, Sylvain Guintoli and Haslam's BMW team-mate, Marco Melandri.
Despite his injuries, Haslam had been one of the quickest men off the line and was soon battling with Guintoli and Melandri, flatly refusing to be beaten. While both laid on the pressure from behind Haslam - riding with a pinned leg and fractures in both feet - remained in control.
When Guintoli crashed out on Lap 10 it became a straight fight between the team-mates which went all the way to the flag, with the Brit beating Melandri to take fifth.
All the while, Biaggi had been quietly slicing his way through the pack, working his way up into the points, hitting the top 10, and then muscling his way into the top five on Lap 13.
And he was taking no prisoners. Having already seen off most of the field, he quickly caught up to Sykes with Rea also in sight.
However Sykes wasn't giving in easily, and held the 2010 champ up for two laps as the pair roughed each other up dicing for position.
But it was only a matter of time before the Aprilia got through, and by now it was clear Rea wasn't safe. It took just two laps to reel in the Honda and get passed, and the Roman Emperor had sealed second place.
Sykes meanwhile was on his own charge, catching up to Rea as the race entered its final few laps. The Yorkshireman was climbing all over the back of the Honda in the last two laps, and eventually found the power as the pair headed towards the finish line, beating Rea to third by just over a tenth of a second.
Biaggi leaves Phillip Island leading the championship on 45 points, ahead of Melandri with 30, Sykes 29, Checa on 25 and Rea 22.
1. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 34'26.728
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34'32.435
3. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'39.249
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 34'39.383
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 34'44.907
6. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 34'45.559
7. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 34'45.667
8. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34'46.206
9. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 34'46.282
10. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 34'53.017
11. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 34'53.207
12. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 34'55.873
13. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 35'03.210
14. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 35'04.841
15. Joshua Brookes (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 35'09.962
16. Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 35'10.254
17. Raffaele De Rosa (Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 35'20.657
RT. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 17'35.557
RT. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 15'42.247
RT. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 14'11.367
RT. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 12'50.634
RT. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 6'22.268
RT. David Johnson (Rossair AEP Racing) BMW S1000 RR 6'32.856
RT. Mark Aitchison (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 1'42.222