Results and summary of World Superbike race 1 at Brno:
Marco Melandri has won the first World Superbike race at Brno, holding off the challenge of Max Biaggi to take victory. With Carlos Checa coming home 3rd, just meters behind the front two, the top of the WSBK championship has tightened up yet again.
It was Biaggi who got the drop, taking off from pole position to lead into the first corner. Yamaha's Eugene Laverty followed the Aprilia through the first turn, just ahead of his teammate Melandri and the Althea Ducati of Carlos Checa. Biaggi pushed early, Laverty just starting to lose touch with the Italian, forcing his teammate into a pass, Melandri getting by Laverty on lap 2 and off to chase Biaggi. Checa also attempted to follow, but took three laps longer to get past Laverty, by which time a sizeable gap had opened to the two Italians which Checa would take the first half of the race to close.
The duel for the lead turned into a game of cat and mouse. Biaggi led for the early laps, stalked throughout by Melandri, the Yamaha rider waiting to pounce. His first opportunity came on lap 9, using the many left-right combinations to his advantage. Though forced to give up the lead, Biaggi would not be flustered, the Italian straight back on the tail of the Yamaha, and pushing to see where he could get by Melandri.
The duel between the two Italians had allowed Checa to latch onto the back of the two four-cylinder bikes. Checa sat behind Biaggi, waiting his turn, which came on lap 13, when Biaggi ran wide after outbraking himself slightly. Checa's advantage lasted for less than one lap, the Spaniard forced to watch the Aprilia blast back by again using the superior power of the RSV4 over the start and finish line.
Buoyed by his immediate response to Checa's challenge, Biaggi set about getting past Melandri. It turned out to be harder than he hoped: the pair swapped places on lap 15, Biaggi diving up the inside of Turn 3, only to see Melandri come straight back again at Turn 4, the second part of that left-right combination. Biaggi tried again, only finally succeeding two laps later at the same place.
Biaggi's lead would not last long. A lap later, Melandri was back past the Aprilia at the bottom of the valley, before the bikes started the long climb back up the steep hill at the Czech circuit. Try as Biaggi might, he could not return the favor, and was forced to settle for 2nd. His efforts almost cost him that spot, Checa coming very close to getting by the reigning World Champion on the final lap as Biaggi nearly ran wide.
With his victory, Melandri pulls back an important 9 points on Checa, but the championship leader will not be unhappy with the result. Despite conceding points to his main title rivals, he lost the most points to the man who is 3rd in the championship, and just 4 points to Biaggi who is in 2nd. A 3rd place was just about all that Checa was going to come away with from Race 1, but his lead in the title race is still a comfortable 39 points.
|1||33||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Yamaha YZF R1|
|2||1||M. BIAGGI||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||0.241|
|3||7||C. CHECA||ESP||Ducati 1098R||0.436|
|4||84||M. FABRIZIO||ITA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||8.448|
|5||58||E. LAVERTY||IRL||Yamaha YZF R1||11.863|
|6||86||A. BADOVINI||ITA||BMW S1000 RR||16.374|
|7||2||L. CAMIER||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||20.075|
|8||91||L. HASLAM||GBR||BMW S1000 RR||21.399|
|9||17||J. LASCORZ||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||21.555|
|10||66||T. SYKES||GBR||Kawasaki ZX-10R||22.330|
|11||96||J. SMRZ||CZE||Ducati 1098R||22.494|
|12||41||N. HAGA||JPN||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||24.710|
|13||121||M. BERGER||FRA||Ducati 1098R||27.958|
|14||44||R. ROLFO||ITA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||31.724|
|15||22||A. LOWES||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||31.998|
|16||8||M. AITCHISON||AUS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||34.771|
|17||57||L. LANZI||ITA||BMW S1000 RR||36.582|
|18||77||C. VERMEULEN||AUS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||45.690|
|19||13||V. KISPATAKI||HUN||Honda CBR1000RR||1'28.907|
|20||50||S. GUINTOLI||FRA||Ducati 1098R||1 Lap|
|RET||15||M. BAIOCCO||ITA||Ducati 1098R||8 Laps|
|RET||111||R. XAUS||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR|