WSB: Biaggi wins as Checa crashes out
MAX Biaggi has won the first race of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island by seven seconds.
The Aprilia Racing Team rider led for most of the 22-lap race after Carlos Checa crashed out from the lead on Lap Six.
Second was the BMW Motorrad of Marco Melandri with Team Effenbert Liberty Racing's Sylvain Guintoli third.
At the green light it was polesitter Tom Sykes who got the best start, with Checa and Biaggi dicing behind for the opening few laps.
On Lap four Checa made his move on Sykes taking Biaggi with him, and the pair quickly dropped the Kawasaki and edged a sizeable gap.
Checa was looking strong in the lead until he suffered his huge highside less than two laps later which spat him into the gravel and gave Biaggi a clear track which he was able to enjoy all the way to the chequered flag.
Behind a nice battle soon shaped up for second place, as Guintoli, Melandri and eventually Guintoli's teammate Jakub Smrz closed in on Sykes.
It didn't take long for Guintoli to squeeze past the Kawasaki and a charging Melandri was soon past too. Sykes settled into fourth where he was to remain for the rest of the race while Melandri made the move on Guintoli five laps from home to grab second place.
Next Brit home was Honda's Jonathan Rea, while Leon Camier was cruelly punted out of eighth spot by Althea Racing's Davide Giugliano. He was able to re-join but after losing a lot of time he could only manage to finish 17th.
Leon Haslam continued to battle through the pain to cross the line a solid 12th, while Eugene Laverty retired his Aprilia with just a few laps left to run.
World Superbike Championship, Phillip Island Race One Result:
1. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 34'13.963
2. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 34'21.067
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 34'21.341
4. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'26.152
5. Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert) Ducati 1098R 34'30.387
6. Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 34'34.163
7. Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 34'34.186
8. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) Honda CBR1000RR 34'38.071
9. Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 34'42.035
10. Bryan Staring (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'48.195
11. Lorenzo Zanetti (PATA Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 34'48.413
12. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 34'49.611
13. Maxime Berger (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 34'50.355
14. David Salom (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'55.463
15. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 34'56.049
16. Joshua Brookes (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 34'56.568
17. Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) Suzuki GSX-R1000 34'57.329
18. Mark Aitchison (Grillini Progea Superbike Team) BMW S1000 RR 34'59.188
19. David Johnson (Rossair AEP Racing) BMW S1000 RR 35'22.745
20. Niccolò Canepa (Red Devils Roma) Ducati 1098R 35'24.403
RT. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 30'29.484
RT. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet) BMW S1000 RR 22'10.214
RT. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 7'47.279
RT. Raffaele De Rosa (Team Pro Ride Real Game Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.785