2011 WSBK Aragon Race 1 Result: Race-Long Duel Settled In Final Laps

Results and summary of World Superbike race 1 at the Motorland Aragon circuit:

Marco Melandri has taken his second win of the season at the Motorland Aragon circuit, after capitalizing on a mistake by Max Biaggi in the final laps to take the lead. Both Melandri and Biaggi close in on Carlos Checa in the championship after the Spaniard crashed out of the race in the early laps.

It was Melandri who got the jump off the line, leading into the first corner, but Biaggi got past the Yamaha with a brilliant move through Turn 15, firing out along the back straight. Behind the leading pair, Checa had got himself tangled up with Biaggi's Alitalia Aprilia teammate Leon Camier, taking his time to work his way past the lanky Englishman and get off to chase Biaggi and Melandri.

Checa pushed hard to catch the Yamaha and the Aprilia, and just how hard he was trying was evident from the start. Instead of the smooth, calm Checa that had dominated the first half of the season, the Spaniard was pushing his Althea Ducati to the ragged edge. A mistake was inevitable, and the first one came on lap 2, while sitting on the tail of Melandri. Checa ran wide at the long right hander, losing touch with the Yamaha and allowing Camier to get back past him. It took the Spaniard two full laps to get back past Camier, but by that time, he was over 3 seconds behind Biaggi. The Althea Ducati rider then upped his pace, chasing the leaders hard and setting the fastest lap on the way towards them.

But he was pushing too hard. Checa's second mistake would prove very costly indeed, the Althea Ducati rider crashing out on lap 8, and scoring no points at all, his first DNF of the year. More importantly, it was his first big mistake of the season, at a track where he should have had the pace to dominate.

With Checa out, both Biaggi and Melandri saw their chances to close on the Althea Ducati rider in the championship. Biaggi led the way, comfortably at first, but coming under increasing pressure from his Italian compatriot and bitter rival. As the laps wore on, Melandri started pushing Biaggi harder, and with his tires looking increasingly second hand, Biaggi started to crumble, eventually running wide in the hairpin with 5 laps left to go. Once Melandri was past, he was gone, quickly putting half a second into Biaggi, drawing that out to be over a second and a half by the end of the race, Biaggi crossing the line dejectedly in 2nd, but with a good haul of points on Checa

Leon Camier crossed the line in 3rd, after running a strong race, picking up the pace towards the end and looking capable of catching his teammate Biaggi. In the end, though, the gap was too big, and Camier settled for 3rd. Yamaha's Eugene Laverty won an intense battle for 4th, just holding off the Kawasaki of Tom Sykes across the line, while Noriyuki Haga came home 6th ahead of Sykes' teammate Joan Lascorz.

Checa's DNF means that Biaggi and Melandri made big inroads into his championship lead. Checa's advantage over Biaggi is now 52 points, the Spaniard ironically being helped by Melandri beating Biaggi. Melandri remains 3rd, but closes the gap to Checa to 70 points, and to Biaggi to just 18 points.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Yamaha YZF R1  
2 1 M. BIAGGI ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1.572
3 2 L. CAMIER GBR Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.432
4 58 E. LAVERTY IRL Yamaha YZF R1 10.799
5 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R 10.847
6 41 N. HAGA JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.931
7 17 J. LASCORZ ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R 12.591
8 86 A. BADOVINI ITA BMW S1000 RR 16.954
9 91 L. HASLAM GBR BMW S1000 RR 24.205
10 11 T. CORSER AUS BMW S1000 RR 24.694
11 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Ducati 1098R 24.731
12 77 C. VERMEULEN AUS Kawasaki ZX-10R 30.407
13 121 M. BERGER FRA Ducati 1098R 34.107
14 44 R. ROLFO ITA Kawasaki ZX-10R 37.233
15 8 M. AITCHISON AUS Kawasaki ZX-10R 43.004
16 111 R. XAUS ESP Honda CBR1000RR 3 Laps
RET 84 M. FABRIZIO ITA Suzuki GSX-R1000 11 Laps
RET 7 C. CHECA ESP Ducati 1098R 13 Laps
RET 96 J. SMRZ CZE Ducati 1098R 15 Laps
RET 57 L. LANZI ITA BMW S1000 RR 18 Laps

 

2011
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