WSBK Assen 2011: Rea shines, Checa illuminates !
While the Aces of Endurance finished their 24-hour race at Magny-Cours, those of World Superbike and Supersport set off for sprints of 35 minutes at Assen. On all fronts, Site delivers its reports to you !
While the Aces of Endurance finished their 24-hour event at Magny-Cours, those of World Superbike and Supersport set off for 35-minute sprints in Assen. On all fronts, Site delivers its reports to you !
First Superbike race
Carlos Checa takes the lead in the straight and dives into the lead in the first right-hand corner ahead of Max Biaggi and Jonathan Rea. Follow Troy Corser, Eugene Laverty, Tom Sykes, Jakub Smrz, Leon Haslam, Joan Lascorz and Marco Melandri.
The two leaders escape in the first lap but Jonathan redoes the junction before the end of the first loop. Noriyuki Haga missed his start: he is 11th just ahead of Michel Fabrizio and Ruben Xaus…
In the 3rd lap, the Honda n ° 4 slips under the Aprilia n ° 1 for the gain of the 2nd place. The fastest bike on the track is the Yamaha # 33 of Melandri, who tries to get back into the peloton.
The peloton is precisely dispersed by the fall of Leon Haslam who brings with him poor Joan Lascorz. The leading group is now divided into two … Leon sets off again in the race last in search of a few points.
Rea took the lead on lap 4. Biaggi tries to follow him but cannot keep his 2nd place against a Checa imperturbable in his trajectories. The Italian tries his luck again the next round and this time manages to stay in the wheel of Jonathan Rea !
The first group is therefore composed in the order of Rea, Biaggi, Checa, Sykes, Corser and Laverty. Eugene’s teammate, Marco Melandri, leads the chase pack and is three seconds behind: can the n ° 33 get back on the leading group? ?
At the very start of the 7th lap, Tom Sykes hoisted his Ninja on the podium by overtaking Carlos Checa! At the same time, Michel Fabrizio placed his Gex in 7th place and fell on the leaders, signing the fastest lap in the race: the seven manufacturers were in the first seven places! Annoyed, Haga must retire in the first third of the race.
In front, Rea and Biaggi take a slight lead: a second separates the RSV4 of the Italian from the ZX-10R of the English Sykes. Five seconds later, Sylvain Guintoli occupies 9th place at the controls of his Ducati Liberty Racing, two places ahead of his teammate Jakub Smrz.
In the ninth lap, the drivers nestled in the outposts overtake a slow-moving Chris Vermeulen: technical or physical problem? Regardless, Chris’ third “comeback” to competition is again a failure. Will the second round be more conclusive ?
Suddenly, Sykes and his Kawa ‘lose ground … and positions! Passed by Laverty, Checa then Fabrizio, the official n ° 66 is found 6th ahead of Melandri and Corser on the edge of the 10th lap.
The halfway mark has just passed and Biaggi continues to put pressure on Rea, so that the two men move away from their pursuers a little further. Laverty is 1.6 seconds away, Checa and Fabrizio just over two seconds, Melandri almost four seconds and Corser almost five..
The two men from Team Liberty Racing, Guintoli and Smrz, are now riding wheel to wheel in 9th and 10th place. They overtake Sykes in distress. Laverty is also the victim of a diet fuck: he is ejected from the podium by Checa, doubled by Fabrizio and in the viewfinder of his teammate Melandri.
Ten laps from the end, Rea and Biaggi are still leading and have a good two seconds lead over Checa. But the following lap, the n ° 7 put coal in his 1098R and separated from Fabrizio 4th in his GSX-R 1000. A few turns later, Melandri took his 5th place from Laverty in an authoritarian interior..
No doubt warned of Checa’s comeback, Rea and Biaggi pick up the pace and keep their short second ahead. Behind, Melandri does not take long to join Fabrizio. It was in the 18th lap that the Ravenna Hedgehog overtook Hurricane Mich. Corser does the same with Laverty: the old Croco climbs to 6th position.
Leon Camier – who had not taken the start on the grid – joined the pits and had to retire. This round is to be forgotten for the Aprilia n ° 2 rider. Fortunately, World Superbike weekends have two races !
Three laps from the end, Jakub Smrz loses control of his Ducati: the high side is not violent but enough to unseat the Czech … and to bring down our national Sylvain who cannot avoid Ducati n ° 96! The two Liberty Racing Team drivers are out of the race. Leon Haslam rubs his hands: he enters the points.
Two laps from the end, Johnny Rea has a small second ahead of Max Biaggi and 1.4 seconds over Carlos Checa. In the final loop, Max tries to get back on the CBR1000RR of the Ten Kate team but cannot do anything against the local of the stage.
Jonathan Rea won for the third time in a row at Assen – after his double in 2010 – ahead of Max Biaggi who grabbed 4 points in the championship over Carlos Checa 3rd in this first round. Marco Melandri finished at the foot of the podium, followed very closely by the incredible Michel Fabrizio, who started from 13th place on the grid.
Luca Scassa takes the lead ahead of Sam Lowes, Florian Marino, Chaz Davies, Broc Parkes, James Ellison, Gino Rea, David Salom, Robbin Harms and Massimo Roccoli. Fabien Foret missed his start a little and follows in 11th position.
From the first loop, Florian Marino was dispossessed of his 3rd place by Chaz Davies but the little Frenchman and his CBR600RR Ten Kate remained focused and took the asphalt of the official R6. Behind, Gino Rea jumps on the 6th place of James Ellison.
In front, Davies takes 2nd position: despite often very wide trajectories, the Briton maintains his place against a Sam Lowes who has not abdicated! Florian Marino remains 4th ahead of Australian Broc Parkes.
Further, 3 seconds behind the leaders, Foret did not spare his Honda Ten Kate and climbed back to 8th place ahead of Harms and Roccoli. In front of n ° 99, at several lengths: Rea’s CBR and Parkes’ ZX-6R which puts pressure on our young Marino.
In the lead, Scassa achieved his fastest lap in the race, but his teammate Davies reacted on the next lap by posting an even better time! Sam Lowes is not dropped, however: in the 4th round the English champion momentarily overtakes his compatriot but falls back to 3rd place.
Luca Scassa turns around crossing the finish line for the 5th time and notices that his pursuers are indeed glued to his wheel! Instantly, Chaz Davies infiltrates a breach and takes control of the race.
But a few turns later, Sam Lowes suffered an extremely violent high side coming off a long straight. The rider of the No. 11 Honda hits his head first and slides lifeless on the tarmac, stopping on the outside vibrator. The marshals raise the red flags: the race is interrupted…
Second departure – Reassured about Sam Lowes’ state of health, his World Supersport comrades set off for a series of 16 laps…
The two official Yamaha take the lead again, closely followed by Rea’s Honda, Parkes’ Kawasaki and the two other CBRs from Marino and Harms. True to form, Foret got off to a bad start: he is 9th behind Roccoli and Ellison…
Unfortunately, the 29 pilots did not even have time to complete their 3rd lap: we therefore forget everything and start again a third time. !
Third departure – Chaz Davies, Florian Marino and Gino Rea get the best of Luca Scassa and Fabien Foret by setting their rhythms from the first laps. But in the 6th lap, the Italian and his R6 n ° 9 set the best time in the race…
Unable to retaliate, Foret lets Scassa go up alone towards the leading trio which, slowly but surely, stretches: Chaz Davies isolates himself during the 7th lap. However, the work of n ° 7 could not be made easier by the falls of Scassa and Marino in this same loop !
Gino Rea inherits 2nd place, a second and a half behind Chaz Davies, and Fabien Foret 3rd place a second later. The chasing peloton is already far away: more than 7 seconds behind, Robbin Harms, Massimo Roccoli and Broc Parkes are fighting for 4th place.
Davies crosses the halfway mark alone in the lead … But the old man – no confusion, that adjective is affectionate! – Foret has just stolen his 2nd place from young Rea! At more than 8 seconds now, the fight for 4th place intensifies between the two Kawasaki n ° 55 and 23 belonging respectively to Roccoli and Parkes.
This beautiful battle takes on more spice when Rea in turn goes to feel the asphalt … Foret finds himself isolated in 2nd position, nearly 3 seconds behind Davies and soon 7 seconds ahead of Parkes and Roccoli. In the middle of a fight, the two Ninjas see – or not? – get back to them Harms and Salom !
There are only three laps left to go and Chaz Davies definitely drives home the point by turning half a second faster than his closest rival Fabien Foret. The Englishman has a comfortable 3.5-second lead over the Frenchman and flies to his first victory of the season, the third for official Team Yamaha.
Guaranteed to climb to 2nd place – although, he has had such bad luck lately! -, our n ° 99 stretches the stride in its final rotation and passes under the checkered flag with less than a second ahead of Broc Parkes and Robbin Harms !
In the championship therefore, Parkes (47 points) and Davies (45) come back in contact with the leader Scassa (50). Foret scored his first points of the season and jumped to 6th place, overtaking his unfortunate teammate Marino, 9th with 17 points.
Second Superbike race
Carlos Checa takes off correctly from the grid but that is not enough to contain the assault of Haga who achieves the holeshot, turning in front of Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa, Eugene Laverty, Jonathan Rea, Marco Melandri, Leon Haslam, Troy Corser, Tom Sykes and Ruben Xaus. Jakub Smrz, Sylvain Guintoli and Maxime Berger occupy the 15th, 16th and 17th places.
The leading pilots observed each other during the first two laps and it was Johnny Rea, in the third loop, which started the hostilities, depriving Laverty of his 4th place. It is then Checa’s turn to overtake Haga in the final chicane of the circuit..
This attack did not leave Biaggi indifferent: the official Aprilia rider quickly overtook the Japanese and his private Aprilia, immediately overwhelmed by Rea’s Honda and Melandri’s Yamaha! The n ° 41 therefore goes from 1st to 5th place in no time…
The No. 7 Ducati in the 2011 championship leads ahead of the reigning world champion Aprilia and the TT specialist Honda from Assen. While the two Italians imperceptibly isolate themselves, Melandri’s R1 n ° 33 is dangerously close to the CBR n ° 4.
The rest of the peloton is slightly behind: in the first third of the race, Haslam, Haga, Camier, Laverty and Fabrizio are more than three seconds behind the leader and are held in the same second. Thus, their passages in the rows of the Dutch circuit are of any beauty !
As Biaggi and Checa, Rea and Melandri continue their duels, Camier separates from the rest of the chase group but does not turn fast enough to get back on the leading men. Johnny Rea on the contrary nibbles a few tenths on Max Biaggi…
Halfway through, the separation between the four leading machines (a 1098R, an RSV4 Factory, a CBR1000R and a YZF-R1) is no longer so marked. Checa then tries to drop Biaggi, Rea climbs on the n ° 1 and Melandri hangs on !
Tenacious, the Roman Emperor nevertheless manages to resume the aspiration of his ex-colleague of MotoGP, "El Torro". Jonathan on the other hand does not quite manage to take the wheel of Aprilia and Marco tries to keep up..
Camier drives alone in 5th position, unlike Haslam, Laverty, Haga and Fabrizio who remain united and delight the public with numerous overtaking. At a big second from them, Guintoli and Smrz also enjoy the show but especially hope to participate !
Five laps before the end, Marco Melandri finds himself on the ground! His second place in the championship achieved in a masterly way at Donington Park is therefore compromised…
Max Biaggi went on the attack four laps from the end: he took control of the acceleration race in front of the pits, taking advantage of a much better exit from the final pif paf … and a Aprilia a little more powerful than the Ducati !
Two laps later, Carlos Checa won under braking in the same final chicane and worked hard! The Catalan embarks on a final anthology round and takes a superb fourth victory this season.
Carlos Checa therefore pockets 25 additional points and confirms his hold on the championship: at the end of this third test, the Spaniard has a total of 132 points against 89 for Biaggi, author of two new 2nd places this season..
Melandri therefore loses no place in the provisional classification: he is now 3rd with 85 points and ahead of Rea (79), Haslam (68), Camier (50), Smrz (49) and Fabrizio (47).
Guintoli, who crossed the finish line only once this weekend in 10th place, is in 16th place in the provisional standings. His – our! – compatriot Maxime Berger scores his very first points in World Superbike: 3 to be exact, which gives him access to 19th position.
In the constructors’ standings, Ducati leads with 136 points, ahead of Aprilia (106), Yamaha (97), Honda (79), BMW (74), Suzuki (47) and Kawasaki (43).
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