Melandri Takes First World Superbike Victory

Marco_Melandri_Donington_ParkMarco Melandri is no rookie, but the MotoGP veteran is in his first year in the World Superbike series. Melandri took his first WSBK victory today during the second round of the 2011 World Superbike series at Donington Park.

Melandri had a large task today as he started from 9th place, but he gradually made his way through the pack until he was riding in second behind Jakub Smrz. Smrz led for 17 of the 23 laps today, but a late charge by Melandri denied him his first World Superbike win.

A small crash dropped Carlos Checa from the front to the middle of the pack at the beginning of the race, but the double Phillip Island winner was still able to claim the final spot on the podium.

Leon Haslam finished in fourth, while Jonathan Rea, Noriyuki Haga, and Max Biaggi all battled to the wire for fifth place. Rea would cross the line first, beating Haga and Biaggi by less than a second.

World Superbike Race Results – Donington Park Race 1

  1. M. Melandri
  2. J. Smrz
  3. C. Checa
  4. L. Haslam
  5. J. Rea
  6. N. Haga
  7. M. Biaggi
  8. L. Camier
  9. T. Corser
  10. J. Lascorz

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Checa Claims Pole Position

Carlos_Checa_at_Donington_ParkCarlos Checa will be starting the Donington Park race in the number one spot after winning superpole today ahead of Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes. Checa is coming off of a double victory at Phillip Island, and has now set himself up for another victory at Donington Park.

Behind Checa, Haslam and Sykes delighted the British crowd. The two Brits had a fantastic qualifying, but were not able to top Checa’s 1’28.099 lap time in front of their home fans. The final spot on the front row of the grid will be occupied by Jakub Smrz.

 

Noriyuki Haga will start row two, and will be followed by Max Biaggi. Biaggi was fastest during the preliminary qualifying sessions, and finished in second at both races at Phillip Island. The 2010 champ will have to start from the second grow tomorrow as he tries to overtake Checa.

Leon Camier and Jonathan Rea will finish out the second row.

World Superbike – Qualifying Results

Row 1 – Checa, Haslam, Sykes, Smrz
Row 2 – Haga, Biaggi, Camier, Rea

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Biaggi Beats Melandri for Provisional Pole

max_biaggiOnly two riders recorded times below the 1’29 mark during the first qualifying session at Donington Park. 2010 World Superbike champion Max Biaggi beat out Marco Melandri to claim the provisional pole.

Carlos Checa, who was fastest during the free practice session, was on pace to keep up with the two Italians, but a few late session laps left the Phillip Island winner clinging to third.

Eugene Laverty was the final rider to end on the provisional front row.

World Superbike 1st Qualifying Results – Donington Park

  1. M. Biaggi
  2. M. Melandri
  3. C. Checa
  4. E. Laverty
  5. J. Smrz
  6. L. Haslam
  7. T. Corser
  8. R. Xaus
  9. J. Lascorz
  10. L. Camier

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Checa Fastest During First Free Practice

carlos_checa_donington_parkCarlos Checa continued his leading ways as the World Superbike riders took to the Donington Park track for the second round of the 2011 World Superbike season. Checa’s late surge on his Ducati scored him a 1’29.978 second lap time, which was the only lap set below the 1’30 mark.

Checa, who won both races at Phillip Island, finished ahead of Marco Melandri on a Yamaha R1 and Jonathan Rea for Castrol Honda.

The diverse lineup continued with a BMW ridden by Leon Haslam. World Sueprbike rookie Joan Lascorz rode his Kawasaki into 5th place, and was followed by Michel Fabrizio with Suzuki and Max Biaggi with Aprilia.

The top 7 riders represented 7 different manufacturers during the opening free practice session at Donington Park. The top 10 was rounded out by Ayrton Badovini, Tom Sykes, and Jakub Smrz.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Yamaha World Superbike Team Prepares for Donington Park

Yamaha_R1Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty head to Donington this weekend for round two of the 2011 World Superbike Championship.

After a month’s break from the opening round in Phillip Island, both riders are keen to get back onboard their YZF-R1 race bikes and pick up where they left off. Both Melandri and Laverty have still relatively little time in the seat of the R1 but nevertheless impressed at the opening round in Australia.

The Italian Superbike Rookie Melandri delivered his maiden podium for the championship in race two, giving the reigning world champion Max Biaggi no rest all the way to the line. Laverty, also a Superbike Rookie, was looking as promising as his teammate, leading race one for a period; race two saw multiple ghost neutrals hiding his true potential. Melandri visited his doctor on Monday this week, and was given the all clear for a healthy shoulder.

As they set up in the UK for the second round of the championship, they do so with Melandri sitting in third in the overall standings with 27 points, his teammate Laverty sits in ninth with 14 points, 13 behind Melandri.

Donington Technically Speaking by Yamaha World Superbike Team Technical Manager and Crew Chief for Marco Melandri – Silvano Galbusera

“It’s been two years since our last race here with Ben Spies but we will start with the same setting from last Phillip Island’s race and see which direction Marco wants to go in. We will start with the second solution we found in Australia from race two with more traction in the rear and we develop from there. Of course we will also use a different gearbox as we did with Ben. The Donington track has changed a little since our last visit and Marco is a lot lighter than Ben so we have to adjust the settings to take this into account.”

Donington Technically Speaking by the Crew Chief for Eugene Laverty – Frankie Carchedi

“We sacrificed a lot on set up for Phillip Island as it’s notorious on tyre life. We will be going back to a more basic setting for Donington that we used in Magny Cours and Portimao for testing. This should make the bike more neutral for handling and braking which you need for Donington. There will be no major changes as the base is really good, the focus will be on letting Eugene do some more laps to learn the Yamaha a bit more.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team – Marco Melandri

“I’m feeling good and very happy to be getting back on my bike this weekend, one month with no riding seems very long. Donington has always been a good track for me, I had good races there in MotoGP and I think our bike will work well. My only concern is the weather, I’m hoping for some sunshine as I still haven’t had much experience on the Pirelli wet tyres.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team – Eugene Laverty

“I’m pretty excited for Donington. After Phillip Island it’s looking very promising, we showed a lot of potential there. We’ll wait and see what the results are come Sunday but I’m quietly confident, I think we are going to be very strong. I like Donington a lot, especially the fast flowing nature of the track and I’ve always enjoyed riding it.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli

“After the good start to the season in Phillip Island we’re glad to be back in Europe, on this historical race track. Donington Park is an important race for us where we want to confirm how competitive our package is. Our engineers have been working hard in the last weeks in order to offer both riders the best starting set up for the British track. Eugene and Marco haven’t stopped training so I’m confident that they will be able to perform well on what could be considered the ‘home track’ for both: Eugene, coming from these Islands but Marco also used to live close to the Donington circuit. We’re hoping for good weather and that all fans will enjoy the races.”

WORLD SUPERSPORT – Championship Leader Luca Scassa Prepares for Donington with Yamaha ParkinGO Team

Yamaha ParkinGO Team riders Luca Scassa and Chas Davies arrive in Donington with purpose having put on an impressive performance at the opening round of the 2011 World Supersport Championship in Phillip Island last month. Scassa delivered a sensational race victory, using the 2009 World Supersport Championship winning R6 to its full potential to snatch the chequered flag on his first race with the bike. As a result the Italian rider arrives in Donington as the championship leader, looking to defend his position, and hoping to replicate the success of Cal Crutchlow who took the R6 to victory in Donington at its previous visit in 2009 on his way to the championship title.

Scassa’s teammate Davies had been on track to share the podium having started strongly however he was one of a number of riders suffering from punctured tyres during the inaugural race. Davies will be keen to make amends for this and gain his first championship points of the 2011 season in front of his home crowd at Donington.

[Press Release Courtesy of Yamaha Racing]