2011 WSBK Donington FP1 Result: Checa Leads Melandri And Rea

Results of the first session of free practice for the World Superbike class at Donington:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 7 C. CHECA Ducati 1098R 1'29.978  
2 33 M. MELANDRI Yamaha YZF R1 1'30.134 0.156
3 4 J. REA Honda CBR1000RR 1'30.184 0.206
4 91 L. HASLAM BMW S1000 RR 1'30.566 0.588
5 17 J. LASCORZ Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'30.687 0.709
6 84 M. FABRIZIO Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'30.789 0.811
7 1 M. BIAGGI Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'30.797 0.819
8 86 A. BADOVINI BMW S1000 RR 1'30.827 0.849
9 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'30.842 0.864
10 96 J. SMRZ Ducati 1098R 1'30.868 0.890
11 11 T. CORSER BMW S1000 RR 1'30.970 0.992
12 58 E. LAVERTY Yamaha YZF R1 1'30.985 1.007
13 2 L. CAMIER Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'31.022 1.044
14 111 R. XAUS Honda CBR1000RR 1'31.112 1.134
15 121 M. BERGER Ducati 1098R 1'31.337 1.359
16 41 N. HAGA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'31.387 1.409
17 50 S. GUINTOLI Ducati 1098R 1'31.782 1.804
18 44 R. ROLFO Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.159 2.181
19 77 C. VERMEULEN Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'32.670 2.692
20 8 M. AITCHISON Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'33.295 3.317
2011
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Comments

Has he ever set foot in Donnington before? I don't think so. Impressive stuff straight up.

I have a ton of respect for Melandri. His ride in GP on the "High Karate" machine showed an amazing ability to ride through adversity. When he and Gresini butted heads last season wherein Gresini essentially said that Marco just couldn't ride no matter what they did to the bike, I was skeptical. Now take a look. Marco is kicking ass, especially considering the transition from GP to SBK. Good job Marco. I'm cheering for you.

Perhaps Melandri is one of those guys who are more competitive the bigger the engine and bike. I don't know, but it's good to see him competitive.

If I were wandering around MotoGP and WSBK paddocks, I'd keep a very close eye on him to see how he does and how he feels about a possible MotoGP return riding a bigger bike in 2012.

Perhaps you're onto something there. Whatever the reason, he seems to be off to a good start in WSBK and I'm enjoying watching him race. I WOULD like to see him back (and doing well) in GP though....time will tell.

Melandri's problem is the tires. He was good in 2005, 2006, and he was still competitive in 2007 on a Bridgestone-shod Honda b/c the RC212V was designed to work with Michelins. When he gets on a bike that is designed to work with the Bridgestones, it doesn't go well.

Ducati nearly ended his GP career. Hayate Kawasaki was mildly successful, imo, b/c Kawasaki never figured out how to design a bike to match the Bridgestones.The 2010 RC212V had been re-engineered to work with Bridgestone tires so the 2010 season didn't go particularly well for Marco. Whether it's Ducati 2008 or Honda 2010, the complaints are the same from Melandri. He can't feel anything on the brakes or during turn-in. The tires are the problem for him.

Imo, Melandri shouldn't be tempted by a return to GP just b/c the capacity is changing. His problem is the tires not the engines.

Did not know that Gresini said that. That makes two teams that did not believe in Marco in GP. Ducati told him to go see a head doctor. Hope he does well this year. Seems like the top 5 to top 10 of GP racers have more pace than the Top 4 in World SBK.

I'm VERY happy to see him going fast in WSBK! I really thought he'd have a great career in GP, but he made the mistake of going 'red' and that bike has been a 'career killer' to everyone that's thrown a leg over it, w/ONE exeption! And yes, I think Rossi will figure the bike out.

“Melandri is having yet another tough season and I am sorry for him,” Gresini said. “Our team has tried everything and we have the support of Honda to give him what we think he needs but he is not happy and I am disappointed with that because we think we have done a good job for him.

“It is always our objective to do well with both riders and to achieve that I think a certain level of positivity and confidence is required. I don't want to cause controversy but maybe that is what Melandri is missing right now.

“In the four races that remain we will continue to help him achieve the best possible result in the hope that he can achieve it and then the only thing left will be to wish him luck in his next adventure, which I hope will be a success."

"what we think he needs" is not what Marco needs sometimes.
Hayate and Yamaha seem to listen to the rider much more than Honda or Duc. Sometimes thats all that matters.