- Tom Sykes secures his second win of the season with a dominant ride
- Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi complete the podium
- Jonathan Rea suffers a tumble
Less than 24 hours after it was announced that he will stay with Kawasaki for the 2013 World Superbike Championship, Tom Sykes has notched up his second win of the 2012 season with a dominant performance at the Moscow Raceway.
A race that began in tricky damp conditions after an earlier downpour, though each of the front runners would begin on slick tyres, it was Sykes that would be justly rewarded for his greater confidence in the critical early stages as he dived into the lead at the first bend and proceeded to multiply his advantage out front.
As his rivals adopted a more tentative approach to the opening laps, Sykes was already 3.3secs ahead within four laps, a push that would ultimately break the opposition as they indulged in an entertaining fight for second place.
Indeed, with Sykes cruising ahead, most eyes were trained on the action behind as several riders battled it out for the remaining spots on the podium.
The first moment of drama came just three laps into the race when pole sitter Carlos Checa crashed at the final bend, the Spaniard clipping the Honda of Jonathan Rea under braking as the Ulsterman came through to overtake for fifth.
Eliminating a very aggrieved Checa from the reckoning, an undeterred Rea latched himself onto the second place battle behind Leon Haslam, Eugene Laverty and Davide Giugliano, while a charging Chaz Davies – up from 13th – swelled the pack to a quintet.
Laverty, Giugliano and Rea moved ahead of Haslam on lap five when the BMW rider made a mistake and briefly ran off track, while Rea would take another lap to move into third position after making the most of his Honda's speed advantage relative to the twin-cylinder Ducati down the straight.