Only 33 riders lined up to take the start of race two at Hockenheim after John Reynolds gave up the unequal struggle with his Red Bull Ducati on the warm up lap. The British Superbike Championship leader's demise was of little importance to many, whose eyes were fixed on the front row.

Could Colin Edwards get the start right and exploit the power of the Honda or could Troy Corser make another of his demon starts? Troy Bayliss was also there and would be looking to build on the momentum gained with his race one victory. Tension was at boiling point before the lights went to green and when they did, it was Bayliss who rocketed away from the line to lead the rest into the first turn. Behind the Australian were Akira Yanagawa after an excellent start, Edwards after an average start and Corser after a reasonable start.

It was all change into the Ostkurve as Yanagawa moved into the lead and at the end of the lap Bayliss had been muscled back into fourth by Edwards and Corser. At the final turn fifth placed Haga was attacked by Frankie Chili who nearly ran into the back of the Yamaha causing the Suzuki rider to lose momentum.

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As the 33 bike snake disappeared into the countryside, Edwards snatched the lead away from Yanagawa into the first chicane and immediately drew out a small gap. Bayliss was now back in third while Corser had fallen behind Aaron Sight and Chili. There was still nothing to chose between the top dozen and in a carbon copy of race one, the top ten gradually began to draw away.

It was the usual suspects from race one at the front with Edwards leading Bayliss (who dealt with Yanagawa on lap two.) Haga was fourth ahead of Slight, Corser, Chili, Andy Meklau, Robert Ulm and Alessandro Antonello who comprised the top ten.

As in race one there was also a titanic struggle for eleventh place again involving Simon Crafar and Stephen Plater on Kawasaki's, and the Ducati trio of Ben Bostrom, James Haydon and Juan Borja. On this occasion they were joined by the last of the factory runners (Anthony Gobert having retired his Bimota on lap two) Vittoriano Guareschi and Katsuaki Fujiwara who were trying to atone for dismal race one performances where they placed 23rd and 18th respectively.

Unfortunately all British interest in this scrap soon disappeared as first Plater and then Haydon were sidelined with mechanical problems. They had made their point though.

At the sharp end of the field Bayliss was really pushing his tyres and had closed the gap on the fleeing Edwards, there was some concern in the Ducati pit that maybe Bayliss was pushing his tyres a little too hard but only time would tell. By lap five Bayliss had caught the Honda and for several laps the pair circulated as one, clear of the rest. However Bayliss soon started to look for a way past forcing Edwards to ride defensively, this in turn allowed new third place man Haga, who had seen off a spirited challenge from Yanagawa, to close up and join the lead battle.

As Haga started to push to the front, Yanagawa was left trailing in his wake but had now been joined by the recovering Chili who had earlier forced his way past both Slight and Corser. Together, these two worked as a team and gradually latched themselves onto the leaders. By lap eight just one second covered the top five with Edwards maintaining his lead while Bayliss, Haga and Yanagawa all took turns in second place. All this jostling allowed Edwards to move clear once again but almost as soon as it looked as though the American might have finally broken the lead draft, Yanagawa suddenly found a remarkable turn of speed and towed the rest of the lead group back onto Edwards' tailpipes.

As the race entered its' final five laps Yanagawa made his bid for the win at the Ostkurve, the Kawasaki got a slingshot off Edwards onto the back straight and moved into the lead. However Yanagawa's moment of glory was destined to last for a few fleeting seconds as before he got to the Senna chicane the motor expired in a plume of smoke. Luckily he pulled to the side of the track quickly to prevent any oil getting on the racing line and none of the remaining leaders were affected.

Edwards now found himself in the lead once more with Haga as his closest challenger. The Yamaha was revelling with it's recent engine modifications and Haga was exploiting them to their full potential. At times the Yamaha was a matter of inches away from the rear wheel of the Honda and many felt a major accident was only seconds away. Haga's control remained superb and not once did he and Edwards come into contact, until the last lap that is.

On the penultimate lap Haga took a wider line around the 130 mph Ostkurve and got the perfect slingshot onto the back straight a-la Yanagawa. Haga held the lead down the straight until, late under breaking Edwards snatched top spot back only to see Haga out accelerate him onto the next straight. Bayliss and Chili who were sitting just off the back of this scrap had a birds-eye view of proceedings and must have been wondering when Haga and Edwards were going to take each other out.

Into the final lap and Haga had a ten bike lead over Edwards. That gap had evaporated by the Jim Clark chicane although he managed to maintain his advantage for most of the lap. Behind him Bayliss was able to out-drag Edwards for second through the Ostkurve. Out of the Senna chicane Edwards made one final bid and used the prodigous speed of the Honda to pass Bayliss and Haga. Bayliss also had moved out to pass Haga and so as the leaders entered the stadium for the final time, it was three abreast.

Down to the Sachskurve they plunged with Edwards leading on the inside, Bayliss on the outside and Haga stuffing his Yamaha between the pair of them through the middle. As they rounded the Sachkurve Edwards found himself being squeezed out and had no option but to drift into Haga. The pair made light contact allowing Bayliss to gain momentum and try to go round the outside. However Bayliss' inexperience finally showed as Haga and Edwards gathered it together and put the power down once more, they moved high on the exit of the turn, taking Bayliss' line, the Australian moved back to the inside but found Chili's Suzuki there, forcing the Australian back to fourth.
Somehow Haga was able to keep his line and forced Edwards out as they rounded the final turn. His margin of victory was 0.170 seconds over Edwards and 0.406 seconds over Chili, wow.

Haga and his Yamaha team were over the moon by the win and the Japanese rider duly entertained the crowd with his usual wheelie pulling antics on the slowing down lap. Haga now has to face a month on the sidelines and hope that his rivals don't disappear too far into the distance.

Second place was better than his earlier fourth for Edwards but after dominating the build up to the event in such a convincing manner, not to come away from Hockenheim with at least a single victory will be bitterly disappointing for the Texan.

The second Castrol Honda of Slight was again victorious in the 'race within a race,' once again coming home fifth although the deficit between him and the winner had grown to six seconds. The tough New Zealander is still a little way off full fitness and the hot temperatures experienced at both Monza and Hockenheim will not have helped him. Once again however he showed that when he is fit he will be a force to be reckoned.

Sixth and seventh represents about the best result Aprilia could have hoped for under the circumstances. Corser led home Antonello by two seconds, the pair using visibly more track surface (and more) than anyone else in an effort to keep their bikes on terms with the more powerful opposition. With another strong double finish and the deduction of 45 points for Haga, Corser now moves into third place in the championship.

The Gerin Ducati's put in a stellar performance for their sponsors this weekend with Meklau and Ulm heading home the rest of the 22 finishers in eighth and ninth places respectively.

As in race one, the battle for eleventh turned into a battle for tenth and on this occasion, it was won by the second factory Suzuki of Fujiwara who scored some much needed points. Fujiwara just failed to snatch ninth from Ulm ad was followed home by Bostrom, again beating the man who replaced him I the Infostrada Ducati line up. That man, Juan Borja finished almost three seconds in arrears of the American in twelfth place, holding off Guareschi, Crafar and Markus Barth who completed the points scorers.

It was said that race two would have to be something special to match race one in terms of excitement, it was.