Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races at Misano:
Podium for fast finishing Lowes
PARKALGAR HONDA'S Sam Lowes took a well-earned third place at the fifth round of the World Supersport Championship at Misano in San Marino, getting faster as the race wore on and finishing less than three-seconds from winner Broc Parkes.
Parkalgar Honda's Miguel Praia took an impressive 12th place from starting 21st on the grid, still suffering from an injured shoulder sustained at Monza in May. The next round of the Championship is at Aragon in Spain next Sunday, 19th June.
Sam: "I didn't make the best start and the riders around me were going very well. When I did get stuck in, everyone else was on the pace so it was hard to make passes. I made a few mistakes and couldn't close down Broc or Fabien. Anyway, I am happy with third; I am back on to the podium and now I can move forward from here."
Miguel: "I am really happy with 12th place and some good points. I struggled on Friday with changing direction and weight transfer while yesterday the rain meant we effectively lost a session. My team has been very good adapting the bike for me and I was half a second faster in the race than qualifying. I am feeling stronger and will be wanting to get into the top 10 in the next race."
Simon Buckmaster Parkalgar Honda Team Manager: "Sam got boxed in at the first corner but then composed himself. He left it a little late to challenge for the win and was held up by a backmarker but showed real speed and ability towards the end of the race - which gives us confidence for next weekend at Aragon.
"Miguel has ridden well and 12th place is good given he is not at full fitness. He is getting stronger all the time and he should be going for the top 10 at Aragon next weekend, it is clear he has the bike and ability to achieve that."
BMW Motorrad Motorsport - WSBK - Misano - Races
Sunday in Misano (ITA), the sixth round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship, ended for Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport with the consolation of fifth place for works rider, Leon Haslam (GBR), in race two. But it was a more than difficult day for the team. In race one, Leon had a good start and took the lead on the first lap. Then he was battling in the leading group, but it all ended on lap ten. In turn 3, Leon had a huge highsider and crashed heavily. He suffered several injuries, but defied the pain in race two. There he again took an early lead and was with the front runners when the race was red flagged on lap ten due to an accident. Leon restarted from third and finished fifth.
His team mate Troy Corser (AUS) was determined to race in spite of the injuries he suffered when crashing on Friday. The Australian has severe bruising and a cracked rib. Despite that he made a brave effort in yesterday's Superpole securing sixth on the grid. But in today's first race he had to return to the pit after five laps because his injuries were hindering his performance too much. He didn't start the second heat in order to rest and recover for the next race weekend in Motorland Aragón (ESP).
In the riders' championship Leon Haslam is fifth with 106 points, Troy lies in 15th position (49 points). In the manufacturers' standings BMW is fourth with 138 points. BMW Motorrad congratulates the BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team for a strong fourth place in race two. Its rider Ayrton Badovini (ITA) missed the podium by less than a tenth of a second. Both races were won by Carlos Checa.
This weekend the team had prominent supporters in its garage: Bobsleigh World Champion and World Cup Winner Manuel Machata and his pusher Andreas Bredau (GER). Being motorcycle enthusiasts, they will ride back to Germany on BMW S 1000 RRs.
Result Race 1: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:37.428 min
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 00:09.714 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:37.230 min
"I was quite disappointed that the race was red flagged and ultimately restarted. We went out on the harder tyre so we could go the full distance, it felt stable and I was feeling comfortable. Sadly the race was stopped and the number of laps reduced so we went for the softer tyre to get more grip, and it really affected the characteristics of the bike. We couldn't seem to improve despite the increase in grip. I was having a lot of issues with the front tyre and came so close to crashing on a number of occasions. I was happy to see out the race to the end. The crash in race one was my fault, I was pushing too hard and had a huge highsider. I have broken a toe on my right foot and hurt my hand but nothing too serious."
Result Race 1: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:38.390 min
Result Race 2: DNS
"I tried to start and did some laps, but due to the bruising on my hip I couldn't move properly on the bike. Yesterday it was not so bad, but bruising really comes out on the second day. It would not have made sense to continue and risk to cause an accident or have another needless crash. But I am pretty confident for the next race weekend in Aragón. The swelling on my hip is already gone, and I think I should be okay after nearly a week of rest and recovery."
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
"On the whole it was a very difficult weekend. In the practices and the Superpole we were doing quite well. In the first race, Troy was struggling to match the pace due to his injuries. So we called him in. Leon had a very unfortunate highsider, falling precisely on the injuries he suffered in Monza. Obviously he was quite handicapped by this, but in the second race he really gave his best. So the fifth place is a consolation for us - as is the result of Ayrton Badovini who missed the podium by a whisker. This weekend all BMW riders showed an absolute commitment and a determination that you can only wish for. Now we travel to Aragón and hope for a better weekend."
No trouble for another Carlos double
Misano (Italy), Sunday 12 June 2011 – 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.
Points (after 3 rounds of 10): 1. Giugliano 70; 2. Petrucci 53; 3. Zanetti 48; 4. Barrier 29; 5. Magnoni 26; 6. Canepa 24; 7. Massei 20; 8. Antonelli 18. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 70; 2. BMW 57; 3. Kawasaki 31; 4. Honda 26; 5. Yamaha 4.
Two Countries Cup
The inaugural race in this new class was won by the Russian Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport) by 1.347 seconds from Italian Andrea Agnelli (Clinica Della Moto). The next three riders, Stefano Togni, Denis Sacchetti and Michele Conti were also Italian, but Sergey Vlasov joined his fellow countryman Leonov in the top six. No fewer than 29 riders took part.
Ellison promising seventh at Misano
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's James Ellison finished a competitive seventh and within touching distance of the podium battle in today's fifth round of the World Supersport Championship at Misano in San Marino.
His Polish teammate, Pawel Szkopek crashed out of the race on the opening lap after a mistake on the brakes. Both Supersport riders declared themselves happy with improvements made to bike setup ahead of the next round at Aragon next weekend. Marcin Walkowiak finished the Superstock 1000 race in 22nd position.
James Ellison: "It's bit disappointing because we knew all weekend we had podium pace and showed that today. First two guys went away quite quickly but the battle for third was close and hectic. Then the backmarkers got in the way between me, Chaz and the rest of the group, and just didn't move over when they saw the blue flags. That ruined our race and I'm a bit disappointed about that but we've made a massive improvement with the bike this weekend and I can't wait for Aragon."
Pawel Szkopek: "It's a pity about the crash. I made a mistake on the brakes in the second corner. I had to release the brake and hit another rider. I'm sorry about that because I feel we could've finished in a point scoring position. But apart from that I'm really happy with the weekend overall as despite little track time, we've made big improvements to the setup of the bike and I've felt really confident. I'm sure this will help me in the upcoming races, so roll on Aragon."
Marcin Walkowiak: "I'm not happy with the result. I asked the team to go back to the setting I found here a few weeks ago but that was a mistake. They advised me against it. I'd like to thank the team for their hard work this weekend and I'm looking forward to Aragon."
Simon Buckmaster: "James has shown the promise we know he has by finishing a competitive seventh and just four seconds from the podium - he will take great encouragement from this and look to improve at Aragon.
"Pawel made a mistake right at the start of the race which is disappointing but until then he had shown improvements and we will want to keep that going in one week's time."
FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 06 SUNDAY JUNE 12 MISANO, SAN MARINO ROUND
Weather: Dry, Sunny
Temperature: Ambient 25 degrees C / Track 37 degrees C
XAUS SCORES BUT REA OUT AFTER HIGH SPEED CRASH
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) left the Adriatic coastal circuit of Misano with an 11th and an eighth place finish to his credit, after one race was held over the scheduled 24-laps, but the second was cut to 14 after the attempted first running was stopped by a red flag incident. Two riders crashed and with fears of an unseen oil leak into the first chicane, race direction halted the race and declared a 14-lap rerun, with full points awarded. Ruben was a fighting eighth in race two, getting the better of his countryman Joan Lascorz in the final lap, using all his experience to keep his position. He is now 16th overall in the standings.
World Championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) continued his run of good form, winning both races from Max Biaggi (Aprilia) with Marco Melandri (Yamaha) third in race one and privateer Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) third in the shortened race two.
Leading Honda rider Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) was forced out of the Misano round after a morning warm-up crash, high siding at the fast Curvone corner and landing hard enough to be ruled out of the races. Rea had been having a tough time at Misano in both wet and dry practice sessions and finally qualified 11th in a wet Superpole on Saturday. His crash created injuries that were finally confirmed as a clean break of the right radius and other suspected injuries, which are still being examined. Unable to defend his championship position today, Jonathan is now eighth overall.
In the championship, Checa now has 245 points to Biaggi's 173 and Melandri's 150. Jonathan has an unchanged 94 and Xaus 44.
FORET AND LOWES MOVE ON UP TO PODIUM FINISHES
Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) equalled his season best of second today as he came through from a bad start off the second row and an eventual 11th place at the end of the first lap to take the runner-up spot at the Misano World Circuit. Fabien, the 2002 World Champion for Honda in this class, is now the top ranked Honda rider in the points standings, in fourth place overall.
Foret finished only 1.933 seconds and closing behind eventual winner and new championship leader Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) in warm conditions that contrasted sharply with the rain that had affected the second day of qualifying. The dry, then wet, then dry again practice sessions led to a lot of educated guesswork for some race day settings, to the benefit of some Honda riders and the detriment of others.
Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was very much a beneficiary at Misano, riding at near full fitness and taking a battling third place, his second podium of the year. The English rider found his machine matched the conditions better towards the end of the 22-lap race, as Lowes overtook a series of riders and held off Broc Parkes' team-mate over the line to move up to seventh in the series rankings.
Ilario Dionisi (Honda Italia Improve FG) had a great ride in the podium places for 20 of the 22 laps, but dropped back as experience told at this level and he was to finish a more than respectable fifth at his home circuit.
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) enjoyed his weekend at Misano, but was caught out by back markers as he tried to get higher up the finishing order than his eventual seventh. He made a technical breakthrough in practice and enjoyed a largely stress free weekend as a result, qualifying tenth in a field of 37 riders.
Seventh place qualifier Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda) had a problem getting off the start line and with traction and grip issues on the hot and generally slippery Misano asphalt providing another challenge, he worked hard for eighth place.
Harms headed up a three-rider group, which also contained Step Racing Honda rider Gino Rea, who was tenth. Rea paid a high price for losing time in practice and qualifying, but came back strongly on race day from 16th on the grid. Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) dropped back to 11th from eighth on the grid.
Despite still recovering from a fractured left shoulder, Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) took a strong 12th place, having been down in 21st place after qualifying. Series regular Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide Racing Team Honda) took the final point for 15th, Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda) just missed out in 16th. Balazs Nemeth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) secured 18th, while Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) went 20th. Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda) crashed out of contention on lap one.
In the championship itself, Parkes has 85 points, with team-mates Chaz Davies and Luca Scassa on 80 and 70 respectively. Foret is fourth on 56 points, David Salom (Kawasaki) has 56 and Harms 55.
Honda rider comments:
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda)
Race result: DNS /DNS Championship position: 8th
"Well, the weekend just went from bad to worse really I had a crash yesterday which needed some stitches in my arm and then a 230kph crash this morning at one of the fastest corners on the calendar. Of course, Im frustrated and I have some injuries that I want to take time to heal. Well have to miss Aragon next week, unfortunately, but Brno is a month off and the doctors tell me that the break in my arm would normally keep someone off work for three weeks. Ill try to come back for Brno at 100% as its a circuit that suits me and the bike. I got my first world championship win there and we went 1-2 last year. Thanks to everyone for all the messages of support, it really means a lot and Im sure itll speed up the recovery."
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 11th / 8th Championship position: 16th
"In the second race we put in a soft tyre and I played with the bike because it was spinning. I was doing constant 1'37s, even in the last two or three laps. I saw Lascorz behind me so I just covered my line for the final lap and took eighth place. I was able to play more in race two, and it was a safe bike, and the best bike I have found so far. We are getting out of Misano with a good rhythm. The most important thing is to hope that Johnny is OK. We need him here, and he is a good motivation for me, so best wishes and all my power goes to him."
Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 2nd. Championship position: 4th
"I came from 11th on lap one. We made a little change in set-up for the race and it was great, I really had fun. In the first corner I lost some places and another rider pushed me off track at turn four. I knew then I just had to stay calm and work my way back into it. I was feeling very comfortable, but I lost some time to overtake some guys because it is not that easy at this track. I did not want to take too much risk because the start of my season was not really good I do not have any more jokers in my pack. I am really happy with the second place given what happened at the start, but I think this could have been my weekend."
Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda)
Race result: 3rd. Championship position: 7th
"You can never be disappointed with a podium, but I felt the bike was capable of winning. I struggled a little bit at the start and got boxed in. I was fast here, but I didn't know where to pass. It was just a bit ragged for the first ten laps. The last ten were mega, the bike came to me and we made up some ground, and I dug in. You can never moan at a podium finish, but this is the first race that I have finished at full fitness since Phillip Island and was on the podium there as well."
Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda)
Race result: 8th. Championship position: 6th
"I was really hoping to battle in the top five, maybe even top three today because I felt really comfortable the whole weekend. But unfortunately my clutch stalled at the beginning and then I was struggling to find grip all through the race and I never got it the way I wanted. I lost the front maybe ten times and I thought I was going to crash. When I opened the throttle hard on the last laps I just lost the grip immediately. I was fighting hard for race pace today."
Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 11th. Championship position: 8th
"I am very disappointed and I need to find a better way of working with the bike. It has been a difficult weekend and we were not able to find the right setting, so we need to find something new for next week at Aragon. The start of the race and the first two or three laps were OK – the bike felt good and I felt strong but I needed to save energy for the rest of the race. When the tyre performance started to drop I had to fight with the bike and found it hard to follow. I got very tired too – the race today felt even harder than my first race at Phillip Island. I definitely need to do better in my next race!"
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 7th. Championship position: 9th
"We made a small electronics change to the mapping setting for this race and we went straight back up to where we should have been in terms of pace. We got held up a bit in qualifying because of a few back markers and so on, but we knew we had a good race pace. In the race I got split from the group by two back markers, but the bike feels the best it has been, and I know I can fight up at the front."
Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda)
Race result: 10th. Championship position: 11th
"We lost a lot of set-up time with the rain and that is the key to a good race; development over the weekend, and obviously the qualifying position, from starting so far back in 16th. My start wasn't too bad, but when I got forward I still had to learn the bike, because we had to take a gamble with the race set-up. It wasn't bad, but when they are running at the pace they are going, I got gapped straight away. But there is no reason why we could not have run with them if we had the practice sessions we needed."
TWO FANTASTIC RACE WINS, TWO FAST LAPS AND A NEW LAP RECORD FOR ALTHEA RACING AND CARLOS CHECA AT HOME TRACK MISANO!
Misano Adriatico (Italy), Sunday 12th June 2011: in a repeat of the recent performance at Miller Motorsports Park, the Althea Racing team and rider Carlos Checa were able to celebrate two race wins, two fast laps and also a new lap record this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit. A result made even sweeter by the fact that is was obtained at the team's home track, in front of the Italian public.
In Race 1, starting from second position, Carlos found himself fourth at the end of lap one, behind Biaggi, Haslam and Sykes. After only a few laps, Checa had got past both Sykes and Haslam and went after Biaggi who had already built a one second gap. On lap five Carlos made the quickest lap of the race overall (1m36.660) and on the eleventh he passed Max to take command of the race. From that point on, his rhythm was relentless and his riding impeccable right to the finish line. Carlos won the first race 0.9 of a second ahead of Biaggi and an impressive 17.1 seconds ahead of Melandri in third.
In race two Carlos managed to take the lead after just two laps and by lap nine he had a one second advantage over Biaggi who followed him in second. Unfortunately for Checa, a crash for Melandri left oil on the track and this caused the race to be interrupted with a red flag. According to new 2011 regulations, the results of the two phases of Race 2 are not combined and Carlos thus lost the advantage gained in the first phase. Restarting part two of the race from pole position (according to the order of arrival in part one) Althea Racing's flagbearer was second after the first corners but immediately found strong pace, recording the race's fastest lap, a 1m36.520, which is also a new lap record. Carlos was 0.2 of a second from Max for several laps before he managed to get past his Italian rival on lap seven. The Spaniard remained the fastest rider on track until the finish line, winning the race 1.4 seconds ahead of Biaggi.
The Althea Racing team has won eight out of twelve races run so far in 2011. Thanks to these impressive results Checa today increases his championship lead and holds 245 points to Biaggi's 173. Ducati leads the manufacturer's championship with 252 points to Aprilia's 212.
"What a great result today! In the first race, I didn't make a great start, losing some ground through the first corners. Max was strong at the start and it wasn't easy to pass him but once in front, I was able to find good rhythm and build a small advantage. I'm extremely satisfied also because the tyre began to slide in the final laps and it was very hot today. We changed tyre for race 2 and it seems we made the right decision. Max was strong again in race 2 and both he and I had a strong pace, stronger than the other riders, but I perhaps had an extra couple of tenths over him. When I took the lead I managed the race well and took the second win of the day. We knew that Misano could be favourable to us, after results during testing here in May, but I didn't expect the double win. Fantastic, and perhaps even more important that the Miller wins because we knew we could do well there while here it was far from easy and so even more special."
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager di Althea Racing:
"A fantastic day for the Althea team as we achieved our objective, and won in both the Superbike and Superstock categories. With regard to SBK, Carlos was able to make the most of that which we had prepared for him during the week; a top bike, a good tyre choice, a calm team even in the difficult moments. In all of our tyre choices, Carlos was able to demonstrate his superiority in terms of lap times and, in Race 2, when he found himself close to Biaggi, he was able to control the situation, even from behind, putting pressure on his rival. This was surely the secret to his success because once Max made a mistake Carlos had no further problems. Even though we have a good advantage in the standings, we will stay very attentive to our rivals' inevitably strong performances in upcoming races. I would like to thank the entire team; the boys have worked night and day to obtain these results. I also thank Carlos, Ducati and all of our sponsors, especially Unibat, for their continued support."
INJURED FABRIZIO 6TH AT MISANO WSBK
Team Suzuki Press Office - June 12.
Team Alstare Suzuki rider Michel Fabrizio bounced back from a heavy fall in the first race of today's Misano World Superbike round to take a fighting-sixth in the second race - despite riding with a suspected broken scaphoid bone in his wrist.
Fabrizio had pushed a little too hard on the opening lap of the first race and was high-sided exiting turn three, landing heavily on his right arm. He went to the Medical Centre and was diagnosed with a suspected fracture, but he started race two in determined fashion and was carving his way up through the field from the third row of the grid when the race was red-flagged after 11 laps.
Race two then became a 14-lapper and Fabrizio charged his way up through the field on his way to a fighting sixth place.
Series leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) consolidated his hold on the Championship with another double victory - his third of the season. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) was runner-up in both races with Marco Melandri (Yamaha) third in race one and Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) third in race two.
Michel Fabrizio - Race 1: DNF (1 lap), Race 2: 6th:
"Actually I feel a bit disappointed this weekend - and not because of my injury really. The wet weather ruined my Superpole and any chances of a good grid position. I had been third in regular qualifying and then 13th in Superpole and that meant I was way down the grid and needed binoculars to see the lights!
"In race one, I charged off the line as hard as I could because I didn't want the leaders to open a big gap straight away, but I pushed a bit too hard and high-sided in turn three, hurting my right arm in the process. I went to the Clinica Mobile and was told that I had probably broken my right scaphoid, but that it would take a day or two to confirm it. I thought that I might as well try and start race two and that's what I did. I fought my way up and passed quite a few riders and was in about seventh place, I think, when the race was stopped.
"Race two then became a 14-lap race and although I tried my best, I just didn't have the strength to keep the throttle at full gas when I wanted to. I lost out a lot on acceleration as a result and that's what prevented me from progressing further up the field - that and the fact that I ran out of laps. I would have preferred a straight 24-lap race because that would've given me time to do lots of overtaking.
"Without the injury I think I could've mounted a podium challenge - even with my grid position. But really, yesterday's rain ruined everything and today's crash in race one didn't help. I will go and see a specialist on Tuesday and further X-rays will be taken. For me, it doesn't really matter if I have broken my scaphoid or not, because I will be racing at Aragon next weekend for sure. If I have to have some sort of protective cast on my arm to race, then that's what I'll do. But one thing is for sure: I will be on track again next weekend."