Biaggi Back on Track at Assen

max_biaggiA black flag at Donington Park put a small dent in Biaggi’s title defence, but the Aprilia rider got himself back on track with two podium finishes last weekend at Assen. Biaggi took second in both races at Assen, the first time behind Jonathan Rea and the second time behind season leader Carlos Checa.

Despite his DNF at Donington, Biaggi was able to move into second place in the overall standings behind Carlos Checa. Biaggi was able to push both Rea and Checa around the Assen track, and finished within a second of the winner during both races.

“We reaped the maximum,” Checa said. “Unfortunately we had to make a forced choice of tyres with our RSV4. I would not have been able to use the softer tires that Checa chose. When I overtook him in Race 2 I pushed to the limit, but I just didn’t have the grip to hold onto first place.

“The advantage of the two cylinders in being able to use softer tires is important on a track like this one, besides the fact that I had a technical problem for the last 5 or 6 laps in Race 2. In any case I have to thank my Team. I’m happy with second place. We still need to make up a lot of points, but we won’t let up. Monza could be an important race from this point of view”.

Leon Camier, on the other hand, didn’t get the results he hoped for at Assen. Camier’s bike shut off just a few seconds after the start of race 1. Camier was able to salvage the weekend during race 2, however, and scored a fourth place finish. Camier also had the fastest lap of the second race.

“This is the classic weekend where anything that can go wrong does,” Camier said. “Some problems with the tires, two breakdowns, the bike switching off and, above all, my two mistakes in Superpole ruined what could have been an important race. In any case I’m happy with the fourth place in Race 2 where I was also able to make the fast lap. I knew I had a good pace, I showed that in practice and warm-up. I’m leaving Assen convinced that I can do well if I keep improving and luck stays on my side!”

World Superbike Standings

  1. Carlos Checa – Ducati – 132
  2. Max Biaggi – Aprilia – 89
  3. Marco MelandriYamaha – 85
  4. Jonathan Rea – Honda – 79
  5. Leon Haslam – BMW – 68
  6. Leon Camier – Aprilia – 50
  7. Michel Fabrizio – Suzuki – 47
  8. Jakub Smrz – Ducati – 49
  9. Eugene Laverty – Yamaha – 35
  10. Noriyuki Haga – Aprilia – 34

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Rea Scores Seventh Career Win at Assen

jonathan_rea_at_assenJonathan Rea took home his first win of the 2011 World Superbike season last weekend in Assen. It was Rea’s 7th carere win, which puts him in the top 25 of the most successful riders in World Superbike history.

Rea’s victory was also the first for the historic Castrol Honda team since its return to World Superbike racing.

“First and foremost, I’m really proud to give the famous Castrol Honda name the first victory on its comeback to this championship,” Rea said. “We spent all weekend developing the bike for the races, and that strategy paid off. I got a good start but couldn’t decide whether to let Max past and let him dictate the pace. In the end I made the right decision to stay in front and take the win.

“We had to dig deep in race two because I got held up for a while and the front guys got away. I was matching their lap times but we ran into some tyre problems later in the race. I’m really happy with the weekend though, and really grateful to everyone who has helped to get me here – it’s been a long hard winter coming back from injury. The team has worked really well and that’s exactly the right sort of confidence and momentum that we need to take to the next races. I’m happy to be back where I belong, in the winners’ circle, and I look forward to trying to get more wins for the team. ”

Rea won both races at Assen last year, and took 1st and 3rd in 2011. Rea’s performance at Assen also gave him his 20th podium, and gave Honda its 110th win. Rea is currently in fourth place in the championship standings, 53 points behind season leader Carlos Checa.

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Checa Tallies Another Win at Assen

carlos_checa_assenCarlos Checa was able to extend his points lead today by claiming his fourth win of the 2011 World Superbike season. Checa was able to hold off 2010 Champion Max Biaggi for the race win.

It was the second runner up finish for Biaggi of the day, and it happened in very similar fashion. Biaggi had the advantage on the straightaways, but lost time in the corners. The battle between Biaggi and Checa came down to the final lap, but Checa was able to best his rival by .5 seconds.

Jonathan Rea, who won the first race of the day, would take the final step on the podium ahead of Leon Camier.

After 6 races and 6 podium finishes, Carlos Checa is the clear points leader. Checa has 132 points on the board, 43 points more than his closest competitor, Max Biaggi. Marco Melandri, who did not finish the second race in Assen, maintains his third place position, but a solid weekend by Jonathan Rea cuts the battle for third down to just 6 points.

World Superbike – Race 2 Results – Assen

  1. C. Checa – 35’38.693
  2. M. Biaggi – 35’39.217
  3. J. Rea – 35’42.277
  4. L. Camier – 35’44.606
  5. L. Haslam – 35’55.609
  6. E. Laverty – 35’56.068
  7. M. Fabrizio – 35’56.433
  8. N. Haga – 35’57.022
  9. J. Smrz – 35’57.071
  10. S. Guintoli – 35’57.0

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Davies Wins Crash Filled Race

chaz_davies_assenThere were two red flags during the World Supersport race today in Assen, forcing 8 riders, including pole sitter Luca Scassa, to retire from the race. Chaz Davies was able to take advantage of the smaller field to claim his maiden World Supersport victory.

Davies beat out Fabien Foret and Broc Parkes to take the top of the podium today.

The first crash of the World Supersport race happened early on and left one rider unconscious. After a massive highside, Sam Lowes was taken off of the track in a stretcher.

Another red flag occurred shortly after involving Alexander Lundh and Marko Jerman. Lundh went down in the corner and was hit by Jerman and another rider as they tried to move out of the way.

On the final restart, Chaz Davies got off to a good start and took the lead after the first lap. Davies was followed by Gino Rea and Foret. The three held together for most of the race, but a mistake on lap 17 sent Rea to the pavement.

Davies victory brings him into third place into the standings behind Broc Parkes. Despite his DNF, Luca Scassa still manages to hold onto the lead.

World Supersport – Race Results – Assen

C. Davies – 26’37.029
F. Foret – 26’44.265
B. Parkes – 26’45.113
R. Harms – 26’45.220
D. Salom – 26’46.151
M. Roccoli – 26’46.251
J. Ellison – 26’51.645
R. Tamburini – 26’51.687
M. Praia – 27’09.652
V. Ivanov – 27’17.69

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Rea Rides to Victory in Assen

jonathan_rea_assenJonathan Rea is a big fan of the Assen track. The Castrol Honda rider took both wins at the Dutch circuit last year, and won the first World Superbike race today, holding off 2010 champion Max Biaggi for the race victory.

Rea started from the front of the second row, but by the end of lap three he was leading the pack. But Rea never had a comfortable lead. Biaggi’s straightaway speed allowed him to catch Rea numerous times throughout the day. Rea was able to keep the 2010 champion at bay, however, and managed to take victory by .7 seconds.

It is Rea’s third consecutive victory at the Assen circuit, and the first for the Castrol Honda team since the iconic team returned to the World Superbike series.

Behind Biaggi came points leader Carlos Checa. Checa started from the pole position, but a slow start saw him drop down behind Biaggi and Rea.

World Superbike – Race 1 Results – Assen

  1. Jonathan Rea
  2. Max Biaggi
  3. C. Checa
  4. M. Melandri
  5. M. Fabrizio
  6. T. Corser
  7. E. Laverty
  8. R. Xaus
  9. A. Badovini
  10. M. Aitchison

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