WSBK 2011: Carlos Checa hurts Miller
There was only a fine ditch of water left on the Miller circuit on Monday. Under these conditions, Checa and his 1098 confirmed their virtuosity on the American track. Ducati and Aprilia monopolize the two podiums. Mamma mia … First Superbike race
There was only a fine ditch of water left on the Miller circuit on Monday. Under these conditions, Checa and his 1098 confirmed their virtuosity on the American track. Ducati and Aprilia monopolize the two podiums. Mamma mia…
First Superbike race
Carlos Checa got off to an average start, Max Biaggi took the lead at the end of the straight line but Corser took the lead in the first quick series of the circuit ahead of Noriyuki Haga and Sylvain Guintoli. The French immediately climbed to 2nd position while Checa overtook Biaggi after the chicane.
Suddenly, the Roman Emperor finds himself on the ground, accompanied by Jonathan Rea, visibly furious! Aprilia n ° 1 and Honda n ° 4, full of mud, cannot restart: Johnny and Max have just lost big…
On the track, Troy Corser is still in the lead ahead of Haga, Guintoli, Checa, Camier, Melandri, Smrz, Laverty, Haslam and Badovini. Maxime Berger overtook Joan Lascorz and James Toseland to take 14th place. Our favorite # 121 is in the dots !
In front, Haga is more and more pressing on Corser and Checa pushes Guintoli out of the podium but allows Sylvain to catch up with the leading duo. These four men are a good second ahead of Leon Camier, two seconds over Laverty and three seconds over Smrz.
A new fall is reported from the 3rd lap: Xaus loses the front when braking at the end of the straight line and mows down poor Michel Fabrizio! The Ten Kate team – therefore the manufacturer Honda – no longer has a driver in the race, just like Team Alstare. On the other hand, a Suzuki remains: the one entered by Team Yoshimura driven by Joshua Waters who rolls in 15th position ahead of the two Kawasaki Pedercini of Aitchinson and Rolfo..
In the lead, the tone rises in the 4th lap: Checa takes it twice to overtake Haga. The Ducati n ° 7 is now aiming for the first place occupied since the first corner by the BMW n ° 11 of Troy Corser !
From the next lap, El Torro Checa easily overtakes – it seems – the Croco Corser on the brakes and seizes the reins of the race. His closest rival in the championship is only 8th (Melandri), his next two opponents are out of the race (Biaggi and Rea) and the fourth is currently 6th (Laverty). Checa dream – american – wide awake !
As Carlos widens the gap, his pursuers regroup: Corser, Haga, Guintoli and Camier form the chase pack and are soon overtaken by Laverty. On the 7th lap, Haga then Guintoli passed Corser. The Australian no longer keeps up the pace and must give way to Camier and Laverty who spin to join the Aprilia n ° 41 and the Ducati n ° 50.
Suddenly, it was Haga’s turn to find himself in trouble: in the 9th loop, the Japanese lost three places: Guintoli found himself second ahead of Camier and Laverty! Seconds later, Leon and his Aprilia abandon Eugene and his R1 by pulling straight into a bend. The n ° 2 joins the track in 7th position just in front of Badovini, Haslam, Melandri, Sykes and Berger.
Halfway through, Checa built a solid lead of over three seconds over Guintoli. Sylvain rolls to his first podium, but must beware of the young rookie with long teeth, Eugene Laverty, placed a second behind him…
Moreover, the Irishman does not take long to overtake the Frenchie and tries a comeback – impossible? – on the Spaniard and the Ducati n ° 7. Another Ducati then stands out: Jakub Smrz got rid of Haga and is two seconds behind his teammate n ° 50.
Sylvain went on the attack at the start of the 13th lap, overtook Laverty and gave an additional gas boost to isolate himself in second position. Jakub Smrz swoops down on Laverty at "big V" speed and leaves Camier and Haga bicker for 5th place. More than 15 seconds behind Checa, Haslam, Badovini, Corser, Melandri and Sykes are fighting for 7th place.
Smrz completes a 100% Ducati podium by easily overtaking Laverty and his Yamaha. The Czech pilot is overexcited and quickly gets back on the French. Checa drives solo and can only hope for one thing: that his Ducati does not betray him as it did twice last year. !
A handful of seconds behind the n ° 7, the 1098R of the Effenbert Liberty team n ° 50 and 96 are now rolling wheel to wheel. Under his helmets, we hope that the duel will not end like the first round in Assen, when Kuba had fallen under Syl’s wheel….
With five laps to go, Checa carefully maintains his lead over Guintoli and Smrz. Laverty is far from having secured his 4th place because Leon Camier has joined his pots. It is in the following loop that Aprilia n ° 2 takes the advantage over Yamaha n ° 58.
Three laps from the checkered flag, Haslam brakes a disoriented Haga at the end of the straight line and takes 6th place. Badovini and Sykes finish poor Nitro Nori, relagged to 9th place. The fall is even worse for Corser: he is in 12th place !
In front, Smrz launches his final sprint and gets rid of Guintoli relatively quickly. The latter stealthily turns around and realizes that no opponent is present: only two laps to go and he climbs on his first podium in World Superbike. !
Too far from Checa, Smrz cedes his status of "great animator" to Tom Sykes: on his Kawasaki n ° 66, the Englishman overtakes Haga then puts pressure on the rookie Badovini. He only takes a few turns to grab 7th place, his best result this season.
Carlos Checa is content to wind in his final loop and cross the finish line with two small seconds ahead of Jakub Smrz and four seconds over Sylvain Guintoli. Camier and Laverty follow, then Badovini ahead of Haslam, Haga and Melandri.
Carlos Checa, who wants to hoist a Ducati flag on his motorcycle, makes his mount fall in the mud! The Spaniard and his 1098R find themselves stained with dirt … But whatever, with his 25 additional points, Carlos consolidates his lead in the provisional !
Second Superbike race
Carlos Checa takes the lead when the lights go out in front of Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty, Leon Camier, Noriyuki Haga, Max Biaggi, Jonathan Rea, Troy Corser … As the Spaniard pulls away visibly, his opponents compete for second place fiercely. After the first lap, Carlos is one second ahead of Camier, Laverty, Melandri, Haga, Biaggi, Rea, Corser, Guintoli and Sykes.
At the heart of the peloton, Sylvain fights like hell, stuck in the second lap between Rea and Sykes. In the following lap, our representative finds the opening on Honda n ° 4 and sees the track open on Corser who occupies the 7th place. But the Australian simplifies the task of our compatriot by falling in the chicane.
At the same time or almost, Xaus then Haga go wrong! Nori has to give up, Ruben leaves last. Carlos Checa remains firmly planted on his wheels and accentuates his lead over Leon Camier. Far from being slow, the Englishman has forged a two-second lead over Eugene Laverty and Max Biaggi.
Fifth Marco Melandri sees Sylvain Guintoli’s Ducati n ° 50 coming back to his R1 n ° 33. The Frenchie is followed by a veritable horde of madmen: Jonathan Rea, Michel Fabrizio, Tom Sykes and Jakub Smrz close the Top 10 in the 4th round.
Max Biaggi took 3rd place in the following lap: he was less than two seconds behind his young teammate Camier, but more than five seconds behind Carlos Checa, the only driver to have fallen below 1 ’49 in the race on Miller’s track…
Further in the peloton, Jakub Smrz blows the stopper Tom Sykes: now 9th, can Kuba go get Johnny Rea posted a small second in front of him. In view of their respective times, it is quite probable…
In 6th position, Sylvain Guintoli seems to have the possibility of overtaking Marco Melandri. In the ninth lap, the Frenchman had no choice: his replacement in Team Alstare honked behind him on the handlebars of the Suzuki !
This battle for 5th place monopolizes all the attention at the passage of the halfway. Fabrizio took advantage of the 10th braking at the end of the straight line to pass Guintoli and instantly put Melandri under pressure. The n ° 84 defeated his compatriot n ° 33 in the following loop while Sylvain lost a little ground on the two transalpines.
Unperturbed, El Torro n ° 7 chained the laps and remained faster than his pursuers, so much so that in the 12th lap, his 1098R was more than six seconds ahead of Camier’s RSV4 and eight over Biaggi’s. Laverty is also alone, at more than eleven seconds, Fabrizio 5th at sixteen seconds.
We must then underline the good performance – as in the first round – of Ayrton Badovini: the driver of the BMW Italia team dominates Haslam himself, driver of the official BMW Motorrad team! The Italian occupies 11th place and rolls five seconds ahead of the English 12th.
Maxime Berger, Badovini’s n ° 121 enemy last year in Superstock 1000, is ranked 14th on lap 14, one second behind Lascorz’s ZX-10R and two seconds ahead of Waters’ GSX-R1000.
Six laps from the finish, only one man manages to match Checa’s pace on the track: Fabrizio! The Suzuki driver nibbles several tenths per lap at Laverty, placed three seconds ahead of him. At this rate, Hurricane # 84 could well take 4th place from the Irishman !
The 17th lap is marked by superb passes of arms between Badovini, Rea and Sykes: the three men make their BMW, Honda and Kawasaki howl respectively as much as they can to defend their places. The fight turns to the advantage of the newcomer while the two Brits continue their fight! Smrz has already been there in the meantime: n ° 96 is 7th.
In the lead, Checa still finds a way to increase his lead: with two laps to go, the Spaniard has more than seven seconds ahead of Camier and almost ten over Biaggi. Almost 15 seconds behind the leader – from this race and more than ever from the championship! -, Laverty can hope to keep his 4th place against Fabrizio who lags 1.5 seconds behind.
Checa flies over the Miller Motorsport Park track one last time and takes his sixth victory of the season, his second double! This time the Ducati n ° 7 is joined on the podium by its cousins from Noale: the official RSV4 n ° 2 and 1. Laverty finished 4th in front of Fabrizio, Melandri, Guintoli, Smrz and Badovini.
On fire, Johnny Rea tries a final overtaking – on the outside! – on Sykes but almost fell from his Fireblade and had to settle for 11th place. Maxime Berger pockets the two points for 14th place.
A handsome player, Max Biaggi is keen to seize Carlos Checa’s hand during the lap of honor: the 2010 world champion salutes the superb performance of the man who is gradually carving out a 2011 champion’s costume! The Spaniard now has 195 points, out of the 250 available in five events (so 10 rounds).
Melandri and Biaggi score as many points on Monday (16 each) and are respectively 61 and 62 lengths behind the Spanish leader. The rookie Laverty climbed to 4th place, ahead of his compatriots Haslam, Rea and Camier. Sylvain Guintoli makes his appearance in the Top 10 with a total of 54 points.
In the constructors’ championship, Ducati increases its lead: the Bologna brand totals 202 points, against 172 for Aprilia, 171 for Yamaha, 117 for BMW, 98 for Honda, 89 for Suzuki and 69 for Kawasaki.
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