Kawasaki’s Loris Baz made a last-ditch pass at the last corner of today’s opening World Superbike race at Silverstone to take his first class win as Jonathan Rea just lost out on a podium spot, going across the line on his backside.
The Irishman was in contention for second as the BMW Italia pairing of Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini went underneath him onto the start/finish straight. Badovini then hit the wet kerb and was highsided off, and Rea was left with no option but to brake hard and take avoiding action which saw him also fall.
Fabrizio took second for the team he won’t be riding for next year while Badovini, also looking for a job, gets the final rostrum spot. Rea had been off the track early in the re-started race and came back from stone last on a damp surface, on what we think was an intermediate front.
Reigning champion Carlos Checa took sixth after running at the front early and then storming back as the pack came back to hunt down Leon Haslam, who was out on full slicks. The Derbyshire man had built up a three-second lead but as the rain came down again, he was swallowed up with only two laps to go and slipped down to sixth place.
His BMNW team-mate Marco Melandri took seventh and closed the championship points table gap on Max Biaggi. The Roman Emperor went wide on the final lap and was spat over the highside of his Aprilia and scored no points. Early leader Tom Sykes slid back to eighth while Davide Guigliano and and Eugene Laverty rounded out the top ten.
Chaz Davies finished in 14th place and takes home some more points while Leon Camier, who celebrated his 26th birthday with a front-row qualifying position yesterday, crashed out of a podium spot with three laps to go.