Results and summary of World Superbike race 1 at Magny-Cours:
Carlos Checa has sealed the 2011 World Superbike championship in style, winning the first race of the day at Magny-Cours in convincing style. Marco Melandri did what he could to prevent, ending the race in 2nd, and consolidating his 2nd place in the title race. But Checa would not be denied, winning in comfort and wrapping up the title at the first attempt.
It was Eugene Laverty who got the drop off the line, while polesitter Johnny Rea nearly stalling when the lights went out. Behind Laverty, Leon Camier led Carlos Checa, with Kawasaki's Tom Sykes leading a group containing Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri close behind. Laverty pushed early for a lead, but once Checa worked his way past Camier, the Spaniard was unleashed. He caught Laverty in two laps, then sat patiently for the next five, waiting for the right moment to strike.
That moment came on lap 10, Checa diving hard into Adelaide, but the Althea Ducati rider's eagerness was showing, running wide and allowing Laverty to get back under him. Laverty's resistance lasted another half a lap, and at Chateaux d'Eau Checa was back again, putting a hard move on the Irishman and taking the lead again. Once past Laverty, Checa was gone, pulling a comfortable cushion that would not see him challenged again. Carlos Checa went on to clinch the championship in the best possible way, with a dominant victory at the first time of asking.
Once Checa had got by him, it was clear that Eugene Laverty's pace was starting to slip. Behind the Yamaha rider, Leon Camier had got company from Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli, with Laverty's teammate Marco Melandri quick to join. Guintoli was the first to drop out of the group, with Haslam taking over at the front from Camier.
As the group closed on Laverty, Melandri started to make a play for the lead. Haslam was the first to catch Laverty, but as he attempted to pass the Irishman, he ran wide, allowing Melandri to slip through into 3rd. Once by Haslam, Melandri made short work of Laverty, taking 2nd and then gapping the followers. Though Checa was unstoppable at Magny-Cours, Melandri had done everything possible to stop him, taking 2nd both in the race and in the championship, and the first man to congratulate the Spaniard on his title.
Laverty would slip further down the order, with Haslam following Melandri by shortly after the Italian passed his Irish teammate. Camier followed soon after, taking 4th and leaving Laverty to come home in 5th.
Race 1 at Magny-Cours was a fitting end to the 2011 World Superbike championship. Checa had on display all the qualities that had brought him to the brink of the title in the first place: speed, patience and intelligence. Melandri's challenge for the title was impressive, in just his first year in World Superbikes, but in 2011, there was just no stopping Carlos Checa.
|1||7||C. CHECA||ESP||Ducati 1098R|
|2||33||M. MELANDRI||ITA||Yamaha YZF R1||2.201|
|3||91||L. HASLAM||GBR||BMW S1000 RR||3.218|
|4||2||L. CAMIER||GBR||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||3.796|
|5||58||E. LAVERTY||IRL||Yamaha YZF R1||5.602|
|6||50||S. GUINTOLI||FRA||Ducati 1098R||9.634|
|7||41||N. HAGA||JPN||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||9.814|
|8||17||J. LASCORZ||ESP||Kawasaki ZX-10R||11.387|
|9||11||T. CORSER||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||17.143|
|10||66||T. SYKES||GBR||Kawasaki ZX-10R||24.523|
|11||112||J. FORES||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||34.532|
|12||84||M. FABRIZIO||ITA||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1'19.742|
|13||44||R. ROLFO||ITA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1 Lap|
|RET||121||M. BERGER||FRA||Ducati 1098R||13 Laps|
|RET||4||J. REA||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||19 Laps|
|RET||86||A. BADOVINI||ITA||BMW S1000 RR||19 Laps|
|RET||96||J. SMRZ||CZE||Ducati 1098R||21 Laps|
|RET||8||M. AITCHISON||AUS||Kawasaki ZX-10R|