Kawasaki’s charge this season so far has been a revelation. The two races at the famed Autodromo Enzo E Dino Ferrari track in Imola Italy.Better known simply as Imola, were no different.
The beginning of the race featured a short lived scramble that had #66 Tom Sykes with the Kawasaki Racing Team pushing his Kawasaki ZX-10R to the front of the field.
He was followed by #7 Carlos Checa with the Althea Racing team on his Ducati 1098R who was followed by #3 Max Biaggiwith the Aprilia Team on his Aprilia RSV4 Factory in 3rd place. Soon #3 Max Biaggi fell off pace and began to fall into the clutches of #91 Leon Haslam with the BMW Motorrad Motorsports team.
Just a handful of laps later #66 Tom Sykes and #7 Carlos Checa separated themselves even further from #3 Max Biaggi. At this point #91 Leon Haslam began to find pace and to gap the rest of the rest of the struggling field. Each succeeding lap Carlos Checa drew closer to Tom Skyes in first place and Leon Haslam pulled the third-place Max Biaggi closer.
The closing laps of race one featured #7 Carlos Checa pushing his Ducati 1098R past #66 Tom Sykes on his Kawasaki ZX-10R. Then #91 Leon Haslam slipped past #3 Max Biaggi to take the last podium spot.
Race one was average at best with only a few of key passes taking place up front during the entire race. So far it looks like this season will be a four horse competition between Carlos Checa, Max Biaggi, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.
The Ducati 1098R seems to be the best all-around handling bike with good power and speed. Next the BMW S1000RR and the Aprilia RSV4 Factory seem to be almost evenly matched on power and speed. The Aprilia seemed to have handling issue which had Max Biaggi wrestling it the entire race. If Kawasaki can improved the ZX-10R a notch it could be in the mix too.