Top 10… last lap showdowns in WorldSBK history: Part 1

Wednesday, 1 June 2022 10:21 GMT

From the 90s to the current field and everything in between, we’ve seen some thrillers…

Following the breath-taking start to the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship and the five last lap battles that we’ve seen in the opening races, we’re going back through the archives to put the top ten last lap battles in WorldSBK history in one place. For this list, we’re not including title-deciders, so it’s a focus on just out-and-out battles for this one! Enjoy Part 2 of the list here!

10. Never say never: Sepang Race 2, 2015

2015’s stunning Malaysian round served up a treat. Tyre wear was critical and with Race 1 going the way of Jonathan Rea, a Race 2 win for the Kawasaki rider would give him the title. However, arch-rival Chaz Davies had other ideas. Leading onto the final lap, Davies was reeled in by Rea and passed at the run to the final corner, but switched back to the inside, aiming for the apex. Davies clashed with Rea and both went wide, Davies won the race, putting Rea’s title on ice until Jerez.

9. A home-hero’s big comeback: Monza Race 2, 1996

A heroic comeback from Pierfrancesco Chili, the ‘Italian Stallion’ delivering the goods at home. He led onto the final lap but a mistake at the second chicane saw him drop to fourth. He fought back into third place by the first Lesmo before waiting patiently, carrying sublime corner speed through the Parabolica before driving to the line and using Ducati power to get ahead of Castrol Honda pairing Aaron Slight and Carl Fogarty. Chili spoke about the emotions of the win in 2021.

8. Fogarty vs Chili in a chicane showdown: Assen Race 2, 1998

A true classic as we dip into the late 90s. A head-to-head thriller at Assen with Carl Fogarty and Pierfrancesco Chili; Fogarty had been beaten by Chili in Race 1 and wasn’t going to be beaten again at one of his strongest circuits. ‘Foggy’ led onto the final lap but Chili was right on his case but didn’t make a move until the final run to home in the last sector. Fogarty responded and got him back at the final chicane, before Chili crashed on his own. He was livid with Fogarty, as the two came to blows on the slow-down lap, before a famous dressing gown incident in the press conference after…

7. Complete chaos: Donington Park Race 2, 2012

Donington Park’s Race 2 in 2012 saw unbelievable drama. Leon Haslam was leading BMW teammate Marco Melandri into the final sector, before Melandri tried but failed at passing at the penultimate corner, whilst Jonathan Rea got under Max Biaggi for third. On the run to the final corner, Melandri tried again, pushing both he and Haslam slightly wide, giving Rea an opportunity. Rea went for a gap but collided with Haslam, sending him into Melandri whilst Rea took victory as the BMWs crashed…

6. The magic of a new battleground: Most Race 1, 2021

The first ever race at the Autodrom Most was a classic. Ducati’s Scott Redding was leading ahead of Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu and Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea. However, Rea crashed twice: the first on Lap 14 at Turn 1, and again on Lap 18 at Turn 20. With Redding and Razgatlioglu alone at the front on the last lap, Toprak made a move at Turn 15 but ran wide. He then launched a pass at Turn 20 to get the job done, with Redding far from happy; one of the best last lap battles of 2021.

Watch the thrilling 2022 season and more classic races in our archive with the WorldSBK VideoPass!