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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Checa doubles in World Superbike

From the WSBK Pressoffice

On the American Memorial Day holiday 48,00 enthusiastic fans were treated to a double win from a rider who was robbed of a double last year by simple bad luck, Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati).

The Spaniard, who entered this event as championship leader, had a dose of good luck this time as his two main rivals had difficult raceday experiences. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) was 10th and then sixth, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) crashed out of race one after colliding with Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda). Reigning champion Biaggi recovered good ground in race two, taking third place.

The podium in race one was a Ducati whitewash, with privateer Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli securing second and third respectively. Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier beat him to second in race two, the tall Englishman taking his second podium of the season.

Fourth place in the championship is now held by Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) with his fifth and fourth place finishes in Monday’s races lifting him above both Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Rea.

Behind the podium places, Camier, Laverty and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) pushed their way into top six finishing positions in race one. In the second 21-lap contest Laverty, Fabrizio and Melandri took fourth to sixth places.

Haslam and his team-mate Troy Corser had difficult weekends all in, with the Brit struggling with some aspects of machine set-up on the dry track surfaces on raceday, while the Australian started each race well, dropped to 13th in race one and then suffered a crash in race two. Flying the BMW colours highest this weekend was Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) who was seventh and ninth.

In the overall championship standings, Checa has 195, Melandri 134, Biaggi 133, Laverty 109, Haslam 95, Rea 94 and Camier 91.

Checa won the first race of the day, a clean sweep for Ducati in the 21-lap contest on a dry track.

“It was a good race," Checa said. "At the beginning I took things easy because of the track conditions. We didn’t know if we made the right choice for the feeling but we managed to adapt, the feeling came lap after lap and I was able to overtake the riders in front. It was a race I was able to control, and my rivals didn’t have the conditions I had so racing is like that.”

Smrz and Guintoli filled the remaining podium places, in second and third respectively, with Camier recovering from a mid-race hiccup to take fourth place away from Laverty.

“I’m really happy for me and the team because all weekend we did a great job," Smrz said. "We had some small problems which we solved in the warm-up, that’s why I was not confident in the beginning of the race but we actually had a good pace. Then at the end my quickshifter wasn’t working so it was even more difficult, but I made second place and a big thanks to all the team.”

Sykes made a great final push to take sixth on his Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike machine, while satellite rider Badovini held off the challenge from Haslam to finish seventh.

Checa took his second win of the day and his sixth of the year when he was victorious in race two, leading home Camier and Biaggi with some degree of ease.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to get this result, especially after last year," Checa said. "We did a great job, we knew we had a chance but you just never know. I don’t know what is special about this place for me, I just feel really good here ever since I first did the double. I actually like left-side tracks and probably it’s my riding style as well, altogether a combination of things make me strong and help me win here.”

”I had to find something really special to get near both my team-mate and Carlos," Camier explained. "It’s awesome for me, I really love this track, it was good to me last year as well.

"I had a bit of bad luck yesterday with a crash. It wasn’t so bad in the race because I had an injection before to numb everything, and it definitely worked! We’ve had some really bad luck recently, but now it’s good to be on the podium for myself and Aprilia, they deserve it.”

“I can say that the second race was much better than the first today, when I had a crash with Rea and was a little bit unconscious for a while," Biaggi said. "In race two I started worse than race one, caught the guys in front, couldn’t go faster than third place, but I’m quite happy with that. I really regret race one because a podium for me was easy, but that’s racing. Today is today and tomorrow is another day.”

Fourth place went to Laverty, with Michel Fabrizio making a fine return from a race one fall to record fifth for Suzuki Alstare. Melandri had an eventually lonely run to sixth.

Guintoli, Smrz, Badovini and Sykes rounded out the top 10, with star names Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser not making the end of the race.

Race One Results
1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38:46.915 (159.425km/h)
2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R +2.766
3. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R +4.093
4. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +8.885
5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 +15.718
6. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R +20.477
7. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR +22.170
8. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000RR +22.267
9. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +24.087
10. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 +27.150
Pirelli BEST LAP Award: Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1:49.779 (Lap 7)

Race Two Results
1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38:22.082 (161.145km/h)
2. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +7.194
3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +8.734
4. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 +14.214
5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 +14.750
6. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 +21.634
7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R +24.079
8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R +25.688
9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR +29.621
10. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R +30.681
Pirelli BEST LAP Award: Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1:48.827 (Lap 4)

Points (after 5 of 13 rounds)
1. Checa 195
2. Melandri 134
3. Biaggi 133
4. Laverty 109
5. Haslam 95
6. Rea 94
7. Camier 91
8. Fabrizio 85
9. Smrz 83
10. Guintoli 54


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