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.
|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|