A sun-kissed 61,000-strong Misano crowd witnessed the 2011 phenomenon that is Carlos Checa as he took an imperious double win for his Althea Racing Ducati team at the San Marino Round. This was his third double win of 2011, on a day when he had to compete in three races to win two of them. The first 24-lap Superbike took place as planned but the second race at Misano was halted and then restarted, over 14 laps, after Marco Melandri’s bike lay across the track and another rider fell off directly behind, prompting fears of an oil leak. The first running of race two is now disregarded, with full points going to all riders who scored in the second running.
Behind Carlos, Max Biaggi overcame a highly disturbed practice and Tissot Superpole contest on Saturday to take two second places and at least stick in the slipstream of Checa in the points standings. It was a bad day for Melandri, even if he scored third in race one, as his inability to restart in race two means he leaves his second home race of the year with only 16 points compared to Checa’s 50 and Biaggi’s Misano haul of 40.
Kawasaki had its best single race of the year so far when Tom Sykes took the Ninja ZX-10R to fourth in race one, and he was on target for a similar finish in the originally scheduled race two, until the red flag came out. Eugene Laverty had one good and one not so good race, running his Yamaha World Superbike Team machine to fifth, but then 13th, after he fell from a potential podium placing.
Haslam had another gritty and hard-fought day of racing on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport machine, falling in race one and defending his places hard in race two, to finish fifth. He is also fifth in the championship. Leon Camier was up and down at Misano as well, as the Aprilia Alitalia rider scored sixth in race one, but fell behind Melandri in race two. He is sixth in the rankings, one up on Michel Fabrizio, who had a mirror image reflection of Camier’s day, finishing sixth in race two, but falling to a no-score in race one.
Castrol Honda rider Jonathan Rea was unable to race at Misano, as he had a fast crash in warm-up, which caused a clean break on his right wrist, ruling him out of any further action.
Checa took the race win, his seventh of the year, as he dominated the second half of the first race at Misano, heading long time race leader Biaggi by 0.9 seconds. Third was Melandri who slowed in the final lap but still took a clear third. Behind, Sykes took his best finish of the year in fourth, after a last corner sort-out with fifth place rider Laverty.
Carlos Checa: “We were a little bit in trouble at the beginning, with a few riders between me and Max, he was strong. I was able to get second slowly, catching Max. I could overtake him, and then put some gap between me and him. At the end the result was very good.”
Max Biaggi: “We should have done two races with ten laps each, then I would have been OK! Really it has been tough, a very hard weekend. I did my best, trying to push but Carlos had some lead and it was very difficult to get closer. That’s the best I could do, no better than second.”
Marco Melandri: “I didn’t have a good start so I had to push very hard to catch those guys at the beginning. After three laps I didn’t have the right combination of rear and front tyre so I couldn’t brake well. It was impossible to catch the front guys so I controlled the gap with those behind”.
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 39'03.132 (155,828 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.984; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 17.124; 4. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 18.652; 5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 18.929; 6. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 21.003; 7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 22.942; 8. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 23.117; etc.
Checa took his second win of the day, and his eighth of the year, to extend his championship lead over second place race finisher Biaggi. The first running of the race was nullified when Melandri crashed and his machine lay in a dangerous position on the racetrack, leading to 14-lap race, which determined all the places and full points. Third place was fought over to the last possible moment, with Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia) and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) third and fourth respectively. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) kept his machine upright to take fifth.
Carlos Checa: “It was a fantastic weekend, we expected to be competitive but not at this level. We took the best at this track, and the team worked so well. In the second race we had different tyres, because it was hotter, and we made the right decision because the bike gave me an even better finish! After the race the chain broke while I was celebrating but it’s better than breaking in the race!”
Max Biaggi: “I think I did my best, pushing and pushing. I made a mistake because the bike was locking into the corner. I saved it but I lost quite a bit of time, then I was able to follow but not come close because Carlos had more speed. Maybe we didn’t have the same equipment as before, but I hope that in the future there will be some improvements. Two times second so we must be satisfied. The points gap between me and Carlos is a lot, but we now need a bit more.”
Noriyuki Haga: “Finally I’m back on the podium and I’m very happy to be here for the first time since last year. Today was very tough, before my bike wasn’t competitive, but we changed some settings. Half-way through I still had problems but for sure I really wanted a better finish. Badovini was very competitive today, I think he made a mistake at the last corner so that was lucky for me.”
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 22'44.117 (156,138 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1.484; 3. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 7.772; 4. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 7.856; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 9.714; 6. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 10.777; 7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 10.875; 8. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 13.483; etc.
Points (after 6 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 245; 2. Biaggi 173; 3. Melandri 150; 4. Laverty 123; 5. Haslam 106; 6. Camier 101; 7. Fabrizio 95; 8. Rea 94; 9. Smrz 83; 10. Guintoli 72; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 252; 2. Aprilia 212; 3. Yamaha 190; 4. BMW 138; 5. Honda 111; 6. Suzuki 99; 7. Kawasaki 89.
Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) took his first win of the year in fine style, taking the lead from Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO), who would eventually finish sixth today. A spirited second in the 22-lap race was former Misano race winner, Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) with Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) blasting his way to third, ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and long term second place runner, Ilario Dionisi (Honda Italia Improve FG). In the championship standings, Parkes now leads Davies by five points, 85 to 80, with Davies’ team-mate Luca Scassa third on an unchanged 70 points. Foret has 56 points, Salom 55.
Results: 1. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 37'00.851 (150,708 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1.933; 3. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 2.890; 4. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.262; 5. Dionisi I. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 4.976; 6. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 7.024; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 7.344; 8. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 16.093; etc.
Points (after 5 rounds of 12): 1. Parkes 85; 2. Davies 80; 3. Scassa 70; 4. Foret 56; 5. Salom 55; 6. Harms 51; 7. Lowes 43; 8. Marino 31; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 110; 2. Honda 88; 3. Kawasaki 85; 4. Triumph 14.
Roman rider Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) scored a popular win and a new lap record of 1 minute 38.825 seconds at Misano, with the race finally red flagged with just over three laps to go and the results counted back to lap 10. Pole man Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) was second, 3.1 seconds behind Giugliano, and Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) was third, 5.2 seconds back. Sylvain Barrier, Niccolo Canepa and Michele Magnoni were next up, in an almost overwhelming day for riders of Italian origin.
Results: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 16'36.317 (152,698 kph); 2. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 3.180; 3. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 5.253; 4. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 10.668; 5. Canepa N. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 11.559; 6. Magnoni M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 14.552; 7. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 15.413; 8. La Marra E. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 16.063; etc.