News 28 Feb 2010

WSBK: Haslam wins closest ever WSBK finish over Fabrizio

The photo finish that decided WSBK race one at Phillip Island this afternoon.

The photo finish that decided WSBK race one at Phillip Island this afternoon.

History was created early this afternoon when Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam held off Italian Ducati Xerox rider Michel Fabrizio in a thrilling finish to the opening World Superbike race at Phillip Island.

Haslam, who started from pole position, was stalked all the way by Fabrizio and Japan’s Noriyuki Haga, but was seemingly on track for a flawless victory before running wide at Turn 10 on the final lap.

That intensified the battle between him and Fabrizio, but the 26-year-old managed to hold on and win by the barest margin in World Superbike history with a buffer of 0.004secs.

Previously, the closest finish was Carl Fogarty’s 0.005sec victory over Colin Edwards at the Italian circuit of Monza in 1999.

Haslam is now the 10th Briton to win a WSBK race, and it was Suzuki’s first victory since 2008.

Haga, who was racing under some duress after a high speed crash in this morning’s warm-up session, completed the 22-lapper in third, with Honda’s Jonathan Rea (Honda) coming out on top of a pulsating multi-rider scrum for fourth position ahead of Max Biaggi (Aprilia), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) and Carlos Checa (Ducati).

Troy Corser was a solid ninth on his BMW, with fellow Australians Andrew Pitt (BMW) and Josh Brookes (Honda) 15th and 19th respectively.

Queenslander Chris Vermeulen crashed out of the race on lap four after losing the front-end of his Kawasaki at Turn Four.

Other riders to hit the ground included Yamaha duo James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow, with the former suffering a nasty highside at Turn Nine.

Race two will be held at 3.30pm this afternoon.

Click here for detailed results