Ducati made a mockery of its non-factory status by locking the podium and completely sabotaging rest of the field during race 1 of Miller Park action. King Carlos capped off an extremely strong start to the weekend with a superb win and extended his championship lead to 46 points. Smrz and Guintoli on the EL Ducati sandwiched him on the podium. All the three thoroughly deserved the place on the rostrum today.
Flying in the face of convention, satellite bikes were triumphant in their attack on factory outfits as the major names either slid off to the mud or were vying for a spot down the order. An incident involving Rea and Biaggi ended in the mud as cameras could not capture the action but Rea’s gestures meant Biaggi was to be blamed. Castrol Honda’s remaining traces of hope came crashing down when Xaus took down Fabrizio on the Suzuki.
Despite starting from the front row, factory Yamahas made a jittery start and fell down the order, a slump from which Melandri would not recover, but Laverty settled for fifth after engaging in a battle for second eventually losing out to the Ducatis and Camier’s Aprilia.
BMW, in its true erratic tradition, blasted past others with Corser on board to take lead and held on to it briefly as the lights went off before finishing thirteenth, a whopping 36 seconds down. While the prominent names at the German garage sulked, Badovini let out whoops of joy after taking Haslam’s position by force. It was heartening to see Tom Sykes steadily working his way past Melandri, Haga and Haslam and finish sixth. Checa too got his leathers sullied after his Ducati ditched him during his trip off track during the victory lap and was finally hitched back home on Todeland’s BMW. Now, that’s friendly rivalry.
On the championship standings, Checa has stretched the lead to almost two race wins with Melandri in a distant second. Biaggi, in another wretched weekend, has plummeted to third and has almost come within Laverty’s grasp. With four riders retiring, the numbers looked akin to MotoGP’s with exactly seventeen bikes crossing the finish line but was far from boring.