Results and summary of World Superbike Race 1 at Miller Motorsports Park:
Carlos Checa's public persona is that of a pretty low-key individual. So, it was completely in character for the Spanish veteran to say that the stunning 1:47.081 lap that he started the last Superpole session with was fantastic but the way that he accomplished it was "nothing special". Nothing special it might have been for the 37 year-old Checa, but for the rest of the pack it might have been as attainable as walking on the moon. Checa's hot lap earned him his second pole position in World Superbike and displaced the lap record he set here in 2008, which was his first.
Second place man Max Biaggi almost had a day to forget when he crashed his RSV4 Aprilia in the afternoon warm-up session. Biaggi, unhurt in the incident, went out on track almost immediately on his back-up machine, but returned to the box after only a couple laps and stoically watched his Alitalia crew swab out the fine, silty, Utah dust that permeated nearly every nook and cranny of the RSV4. Biaggi's crew must have done a good clean-up job, because he trailed Checa by a mere .056 seconds in the first Superpole go-round and led the second over the Spaniard by .179.
More videos from OnTheThrottle.tv, the OTT crew taking full advantage of being on-site at Miller Motorsports Park. This time, David Williams, Jonathan Green and Steve Martin sit down for a long chat with reigning World Supersport champion Cal Crutchlow. The Sterilgarda Yamaha rider talks about a huge range of subjects: How he got started, why he switched from soccer to motorcycle racing, the phenomenon that is Max Biaggi, traveling to Monza under the shadow of a volcanic ash cloud, and ambitions in MotoGP.
Results and summary of Superpole, as it happens:
Ducati took maximum advantage of a 3 kg (6.6lb) weight reduction to dominate free practice and the first qualifying session under a partly cloudy Utah sky at Miller Motorsports Park today. Prior to the beginning of practice, rain showers were spotted over the Stansbury Mountains, which form the western edge of the Tooele Valley, and raindrops were felt on pit lane. The threatening skies never turned into anything serious, however, and the session quickly turned into the battle of the twins with with Jakob Smrz, Carlos Checa, Shakey Byrne, Luca Scassa, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio all near the top at various stages. Xerox Ducati's Fabrizio pulled out a last-gasp 1'49.756 after the checkered flag flew to end the session to top Athea teammates Checa and Byrne. Series runner-up Max Biaggi took advantage of the prodigious power of the Aprilia RSV4 to claw his way into 4th position.
As ever, the guys at OnTheThrottle.tv have released another pre-race show for this weekend's upcoming World Superbike round. Making the logistics of the show much easier is the fact that the race is in the US, and so David Williams, Jonathan Green and Steve Martin can talk directly, instead of via a more cumbersome Skype link. That's the theory, anyway, but Steve Martin had flight problems, and so Green and Williams receive a succession of guests at their table in a bar in Salt Lake City, including Roger Lee Hayden; John Larsen, GM of Miller Motorsports Park; Simon Buckmaster, manager of the Parkalgar Honda World Supersport team, and Alan Bell, one of Eugene Laverty's engineers. Once again, another great way to kick off the World Superbike Weekend.
In the latest episode of OnTheThrottle's excellent videos, World Superbike commentator Jonathan Green catches up with Sterilgarda Yamaha World Superbike rider James Toseland at the team's base near Milan. Green and Toseland discuss racing in Italy, and JT casts an eye over the MotoGP season so far. Here's the video:
The stunning new Motorland Aragon track - scene of the 13th round of this year's MotoGP championship - is to get a full time spot on the World Championship calendar. According to reports from Spain, the Aragon track is due to sign a contract to host the World Superbike series from 2011 through 2013 on Wednesday.
The deal does not mean that there will be two rounds of World Superbikes in Spain. Instead, the reports (such as the one in leading Spanish magazine Motociclismo.es) state that the Spanish round will switch from Valencia to Motorland Aragon. WSBK's departure from Valencia is believed to come after pressure from some of the parties involved in MotoGP put pressure on the Ricardo Tormo circuit not to stage World Superbikes. The Communitat Valenciana (the regional government) has very close ties to MotoGP and Dorna, and may have elected to put its support behind the MotoGP series, rather than splitting resources over both MotoGP and World Superbikes.