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Max Biaggi has extended his lead in the eni World Superbike Championship standings after putting in a marvellous performance to win at Misano, ahead of a similarly impressive Carlos Checa.
An unexpected result since Biaggi and Checa started down the order in 10th and 16th respectively, the experienced riders showed their class as they scythed their way up the field to cross the line less than a second apart.
A race of two halves since the opening portion of the race bore little reflection to the eventual result, significant tyre wear would take its toll on the several of the early front runners. Nonetheless, it does nothing to discredit the performance of both Biaggi and Checa, who proved why they are former champions at this level with their classy fight backs.
Doing much of their hard work at the start, Biaggi and Checa would end the opening lap in sixth and ninth respectively, settling into the chasing pack initially as they diced with Ayrton Badovini and Marco Melandri.
Up front, Jonathan Rea optimised his front row start to snatch the lead into the opening bend, followed closely by Tom Sykes, Davide Giugliano and Leon Haslam, though Haslam would work his way up to third by the end of lap two.
While the top four steadily worked their way into an early margin, Biaggi and Checa battled it out behind them in an occasionally error-strewn tussle with their rivals. Indeed, it would take until lap ten of 24 for both riders to break free of Badovini, the Italian having put up a staunch defence against his more coveted rivals.
Their breakthrough would subsequently coincide with Haslam getting past Sykes for second, a move that was quickly replicated by Giugliano and Melandri to shuffle the Kawasaki rider down to fifth. Worse would follow for Sykes as the charging Biaggi and Checa would drop him to seventh by lap 13.
Though his pass suggested a run at catching Rea, who was now two seconds up the road, Haslam quickly found himself back to third as Giugliano would get back ahead to lead the chase for the Honda rider.