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Crutchlow grabs long awaited WSBK win
1 August 2010
Cal Crutchlow has broken his World Superbike victory duck in the best possible surroundings as he led an all-British 1-2-3 at Silverstone.
A win from pole position at the ninth time of asking, the Yamaha rider indulged in an entertaining scrap with Jonathan Rea during the first-half of the race, but once he made his decisive move for the lead with six laps remaining, he simply cruised to the chequered flag.
A long awaited first victory for the reigning World Supersport Champion, his win also signals a first triumph of the year for reigning riders' champions Yamaha.
Despite getting a good start from pole position, an area of weakness in Crutchlow's previous attempts from the front, it was Rea that dived into the lead at Copse, followed by Biaggi initially before Crutchlow positioned himself back ahead through the Becketts complex.
It was a lead that Rea would valiantly hold onto, the Northern Irishman looking confident out front as he went on his quest for a repeat of his Brno victory.
However, having fallen away from Rea on that occasion, Crutchlow was proving a more competitive rival for his countryman this time, quickly latching onto the back of the Honda as the pair stretched away from the chasing field.
Indeed, having complained of excessive tyre wear during the races, Crutchlow was showing no signs of fading as he nosed ahead with a move at Copse on lap seven, even if Rea was back in front before the conclusion of the lap.
The corner would go on to set the scene for his more decisive pass on lap twelve, Crutchlow getting consistently better drive through Woodcote to plant his move. Resisting Rea's attempts to get back in front immediately, Crutchlow promptly began to circulate in a fierce pace that no other rider could live with.
As such, while Rea pushed hard to maintain the pressure, Crutchlow would not be challenged again to become the seventh different WSBK race winner this season.
Rea held onto second place to strengthen his third position in the standings, ahead of Haslam, who gave the fans exactly what they wanted to see with a run to third.
It was a good effort from the Suzuki Alstare rider, who recovered from a tardy start to get up to fourth position on lap four before hunting down Michel Fabrizio to relieve him of third. Putting in a brief bid to get on terms with Crutchlow and Rea, Haslam was nonetheless satisfied to take the first bite out of Biaggi's championship lead since he lost it at Miller Motorsports Park. The gap now stands at 60 points.
Biaggi, meanwhile, was a fairly nondescript fifth, his strong start giving way to being overtaken by Fabrizio, who finished fourth, before mistake on lap four dropped him behind Haslam and Troy Corser.
While he would fight his way back to fifth at the expense of Corser, who faded to tenth, it was only after he came out on top of a scrap with plucky team-mate Leon Camier, who put in a storming ride from 16th on the grid to end up sixth having briefly gotten ahead of the Italian.
Carlos Checa and James Toseland were also in the hunt for a top five finish, but would not progress beyond seventh and eighth respectively. Shane Byrne made it six Britons inside the top ten in ninth, ahead of Corser.
A race of low attrition, with only three retirements in Broc Parkes, Roger Lee Hayden and Matteo Baiocco, the remaining points' positions were closely contested.
Eventually Max Neukirchner made strides to score one of his best results of the year in 11th, ahead of Sylvain Guintoli, who fought back from a poor start that had left him down in 19th at one stage. Front row starter Jakub Smrz was 13th after dropping back with an error on lap three, ahead of Noriyuki Haga and Lorenzo Lanzi.
Of the wild-card riders, Josh Brookes just missed out on points in 16th, but Tommy Bridewell and Ryuichi Kiyonari brought up the rear in 20th and 21st.