Motorcycling: Biaggi draws clear as Rea steps up a gear

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The Independent Online

Max Biaggi moved a step closer to securing the World Superbike Championship after virtually doubling his lead over his nearest rival Leon Haslam at Brno in the Czech Republic.

The Italian had entered the weekend 37 points clear of his British rival, but his second place in race one and victory in race two saw him extend that advantage up to 68 points.

Haslam could only manage an eighth and a 10th place and he now has plenty of work to do in the remaining four rounds if he is to have any hope of taking the title. But there was cause for celebration for another Briton as Jonathan Rea took the race one spoils for Ten Kate Honda before finishing runner-up in the second.

Biaggi had been fancied to waltz away from the pack on the undulating Czech track, but the Northern Irishman Rea produced a sensational move around the outside of the opening lap's final turn to overtake the Aprilia rider and go into a lead he never lost. He eventually came in 3sec clear for his third win of the season.

After losing ground in the early going Biaggi worked his way back through to second, ahead of the Sterilgarda Yamaha of Cal Crutchlow, with Sylvain Guintoli, Ruben Xaus and Noriyuki Haga completing the top six.

But Biaggi was the dominant force in race two as he overtook Rea on lap seven and simply rode away from the field for his ninth victory of the season.

Rea, who has moved up to third in the standings, came in second while Michel Fabrizio rounded out the podium for Ducati.

James Toseland took a solid fourth place on his Yamaha and was followed home by Haga and Carlos Checa.

Biaggi is now way out in front in the overall standings with 352 points, with Haslam on 284 and Rea in third on 203.

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