World Superbike: Race 1 Results From Monza

eugene_laverty_monzaIt was a good day for the Irishman at the Italian track. Eugene Laverty claimed his maiden World Superbike victory today, beating out Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam.

Laverty would be challenged by Biaggi at the beginning of the race, but the Yamaha rider would eventually pull away to take the win by more than two seconds.

Laverty got off to a good start, and battled with Biaggi throughout the first half of the race. Biaggi had the advantage heading down the long straights, but Laverty was able to reclaim some track during the turns.

The stare down between the two riders lasted until there were 7 laps remaining. Biaggi blinked and made a mistake, giving Laverty some much needed space up top. Biaggi would be able to recover to claim second place, but his chance for the race win was gone.

Behind the top two riders, Leon Haslam and Marco Melandri battled for third. But in the end it was the BMW that climbed up to the podium.

Season leader Carlos Checa was able to limit the damage done by Biaggi’s second place finish by claiming a top 10 finish of his own. Checa was able to claim 9th place today, an improvement from what he showed during qualifying.

World Superbike – Race Results – Monza

  1. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 31’09.584
  2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 31’11.159
  3. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 31’12.662
  4. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 31’12.839
  5. Michel Fabrizio (Team Suzuki Alstare) 31’21.396
  6. Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) 31’21.955
  7. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 31’22.864
  8. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 31’27.003
  9. Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) 31’27.153
  10. Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 31’28.004

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Carlos Checa: Not Realistic to Think We’ll Reach the Podium

carlos_checa_at_monzaCarlos Checa and the Althea Ducati team are not in the position that they want to be in for tomorrow’s World Superbike race at Monza. Checa failed to advance to the final super pole session, and will start tomorrow from the 11th spot on the grid.

Checa finished more than a second behind Max Biaggi, who set a new lap record at the Monza circuit this morning during the qualifying rounds.

“It’s not easy here for us,” Checa said. “We know that we are lacking some speed but tomorrow I think that if I can improve through the first sector we can defend ourselves well. Of course it wouldn’t be very realistic to think we can reach the podium but I am confident that we can stay with the front group and we’ll try to take the best possible results. It’s hard to say how we’ll finish but I’ll do my best as always and we’ll see.”

Checa has won four of the first six races so far this season and currently leads the series by 43 points ahead of Max Biaggi.

[Photo Courtesy of Althea Ducati]

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Biaggi Looks to Monza to Make Up Points

max_biaggi_before_monzaMax Biaggi has been on the podium four times so far this season, but he is still more than 40 points behind Carlos Checa. But this weekend Biaggi will head to Monza, a track where he has seen great success, and where Checa has faltered.

Max Biaggi scored a double at the Monza event in 2010. The Monza circuit, which is the quickest track in the 2011 World Superbike schedule, fits the racing style of both Biaggi and his Aprilia RSV4, making it a prime opportunity to close the gap to the top.

“This Championship is a no-holds-barred battle,” Biaggi said. “There is no room for mistakes because you pay a high price for each and every one. The first three races are enough to prove that.

Biaggi was disqualified from the second race at Donnington Park, and he is still feeling the effects on the leader board.

“We know that we can be competitive at Monza, but the extremely high level of our rivals must not make us lose our focus. We need to recover points and we have plenty of potential to be able to do so, even the Assen round showed that.

“We are racing with the number “one” on our fairing so our objective can be nothing less than victory. Racing in Italy in front of my supporters, will obviously give me a little more charge. I’m sure the Monza fans will give us a warm welcome and my fan-club will make it an even more special weekend for me, as they always do.”

Carlos Checa currently leads the series by 43 points, but he could have some trouble this weekend. Checa has never earned a top 5 finish at Monza, and last year he finished outside of the top 10.

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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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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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