Lorenzo Lanzi has taken victory in the first World Superbike race in Valencia in the most dramatic of fashions.
Alstare Suzuki’s Max Neukirchner looked like he would take his first World Superbike victory after an impressive superpole yesterday after leading from start to almost finish.
But man on a mission, Carlos Checa, thought he could please his home crowd as he clawed back from sixth to climb up in to second 10 laps from the end and tried to take his victory on the last corner, only to send himself and Neukirchner in to the gravel trap.
Pole man Max Neukirchner was first in to the first corner Bayliss slipped in to second place.
The two Yamaha’s of Niriyuki Haga and Troy Corser were then battled for positions with Corser just keeping off his team-mate.
On lap two Sebastien Gimbert, Sergio Fuertes and Shuhei Aoyama crashed out at turn one in dramatic fashion.
At the froint Max Neukirchner was still in the lead as Noriyuki Haga high-sided off his Yamaha from fifth place at the start of lap three.
It was the time for spills as Carmelo Morales also had a front end crash while Yukio Kagayama and Ruben Xaus were the next high-profile victims.
Spaniard Xaus did manage to do a bit off off-roading and got his Sterilgarda Ducati out,
On the next lap Michel Fabrizio crashed out on his Xerox Ducati 1098 with all the riders seemingly struggling with the lower temperatures at the Valencia circuit.
It was still Neukirchner from Bayliss up front on lap six with the German having gained a good half second lead.
Max Biaggi took a trip to the gravel trap on lap seven when his gearbox got stuck and he struggled to find the right gear. The Italian managed to get his Sterilgarda Ducati going again but lost several places and was well out of the running for the podium.
Neukirchner had increased his gap to 1.6secs by lap nine as the German pushed on ahead of the double champion.
Carlos Checa passed Troy Corser on the ninth lap to claim fourth on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda.
Third placed Lorenzo Lanzi was putting increasing pressure on Troy Bayliss and on lap 12 was starting to have a look to taking the second spot. But Lanzi was also wary of Carlos Checa who was getting ever closer to his exhaust pipe.
With Neukirchner almost three seconds ahead of Bayliss, the three way battle was on for second.
And it was Carloss Checa who made the move on lap 13 as he passed both Lanzi and Bayliss within a few corners. And now the Spaniard was roared on by his home crowd, with Xaus out of the running, he was the country’s biggest hope of a podium.
Neukirchner was not letting his lap times drop and was keeping to within 1min 36secs to now gain a four second gap on his nearest rival now in the shape of Carlos Checa.
Checa was now a man on a mission, with Lanzi still tackling Bayliss for the final podium place, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda man was able to creat a one second gap on the Xerox Ducati rider. And he was also clawing back time on leader Neukirchner to close to 3.6secs.
On lap 17 and with six to go, Checa had decreased the gap between himself and Neukirchner to 3.4secs.
By the end of lap 19 the gap from Neukirchner to Checa was down to 3.08secs while Ducati man Troy Bayliss had managed to get rid of Lorenzo Lanzi.
With just two laps to go Neukirhcner would be having to start to look in his mirrors again as Carlos Checa was just 1.07secs behind and going in to the final lap there was just 0.6secs difference.
But drama of dramas on the last corner Checa tried to undertake Neukirchner and took both motorcycles out.
And with Lorenzo Lanzi having just passed Troy Bayliss, it was the Italian who took the surprise victory on the RG Ducati.
After the race Lorenzo Lanzi said: "It's not been an easy weekend because it's not an easy race here. I'm happy and I hope to have a good finish in the second race."
Valencia World Superbikes race one results:
1 Lorenzo LANZI ITA R.G. Team Ducati 1098 RS 08
2 Troy BAYLISS AUS Ducati Xerox Team Ducati 1098 F08
3 Troy CORSER AUS Yamaha Motor Italia WSB Yamaha YZF-R1
4 Fonsi NIETO ESP Team Suzuki Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000
5 Carlos CHECA ESP Hannspree Ten Kate HondaHonda CBR1000RR
6 Karl MUGGERIDGE AUS D.F. Racing Honda CBR1000RR
7 Gregorio LAVILLA ESP Ventaxia VK Honda Honda CBR1000RR
8 Regis LACONI FRA Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
9 Makoto TAMADA JPN Kawasaki PSG-1 Corse Kawasaki ZX-10R
10 Roberto ROLFO ITA Hannspree Honda Althea Honda CBR1000RR
11 Shinichi NAKATOMI JPN YZF Yamaha Yamaha YZF-R1
12 Kenan SOFUOGLU TUR Hannspree Ten Kate HondaH Jor.nda CBR1000RR
13 Russel HOLLAND AUS D.F. Racing - Bertocchi Honda CBR1000RR
14 Jakub SMRZ CZE Guandalini Racing by Grifo'sDucati 1098 RS 08
15 David CHECA ESP Yamaha France Ipone GMTY 9a4maha YZF-R1
16 Max BIAGGI ITA Sterilgarda Go Eleven Ducati 1098 RS 08
17 Ayrton BADOVINI ITA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
18 Luca MORELLI ITA Alto Evolution Honda SuperbHiokenda CBR1000RR
19 Diego LOZANO ORTIZ ESP Honda Joe Darcey Honda CBR1000RR
20 Loic NAPOLEONE FRA Grillini PBR Team Yamaha YZF-R1 18 5 Laps