Checa is brilliant at Silverstone WSBK
In winning the first race Checa became the rider who gave Ducati 300 race wins in this championship, and added one to the total when he took his second win of the day during race 2 a few hours later – his tenth of the season. Something of a century man, Checa notched up 100 WSBK races in the second encounter and he was also the rider to give Honda its 100th win in WSBK, at Miller Motorsports Park in 2008.
Checa missed out on a Superpole victory but controlled the pace in each race, making a break away from early leader Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) each time. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) was third in each race, moving closer to Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) who had an overall second-place; Biaggi had a terrible opener but a much-improved second race.
“I didn’t know it was my hundredth race,” exclaimed race-winner Checa, “but it’s most important I’m not 100 years old! It was also Ducati’s 300th win, a fantastic weekend, and I will remember it for these many reasons. You never know, there are still many races to go and it’s easy to lose points, but now we arrive at some tracks where I feel more comfortable. I expected to have more trouble at Silverstone but we worked, planned and adapted well to make a perfect result. For sure now we go on holiday quite relaxed!”
Behind the riders in the front positions John Hopkins delivered on his Superpole status for much of raceday only fading towards the end of each contest, as a wildcard rider arrived with interest at this round. A brace of sixth places for Sylvain Guintoli put another privateer well in the mix, while local rider Haslam worked hard for his race finishes in the points. For the other main regulars, Michel (Suzuki Alstare) had a high of ninth in race two, and Joan Lascorz Fabrizio (Kawasaki Racing Team) was seventh in race one, having started 19th on the grid. Stand-in rider Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda) did not finish either race, Ayrton was tenth on each occasion and his (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) Badovini team-mate James Toseland battled hard in each race to finish 12th and 13th. Another comeback rider, Troy Corser, was ninth in race one.
“Facing radically different conditions compared to Donington Park’s race in March just 100 kilometers north, Pirelli was prepared for the Silverstone Circuit with over 4800 tires to support 140 riders,” said Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto’s Racing Director. Infront Motor Sport’s contract with Pirelli as Official Tire Supplier has been renewed through the end of 2015, confirming Pirelli's 8 years of continued tire development for faster, closer and more entertaining racing.”
Carlos Checa took the total of Ducati race wins in WSBK history to 300 in race one. Early race leader Eugene Laverty was second and Marco Melandri third. Local hero Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was fourth, while pole man and wildcard rider John Hopkins ending up fifth and well in the points. Sylvain Guintoli got into the top six ahead of Joan Lascorz, after early fast Pedercini Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison crashed out. Aprilia Alitalia rider Max Biaggi was a disappointed 11th, his team-mate Leon Camier distraught at losing a podium place as his bike suffered a problem that held him back in 15th place.
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'06.477 (167,266 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 3.304; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 4.782; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR; 7.116; 5. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 11.057; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 21.899; 7. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 22.308; 8. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 22.734; 9. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 25.491; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 25.725; 11. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 25.844; 12. Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 45.578; 13. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 51.650; 14. Kirkham J. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 57.310; 15. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'36.457; RET. Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR; etc.
Points leader Checa made it ten wins in 2011 and in his 100th WSBK race no less, when he won the second 18 lap race at Silverstone, moving further ahead in the championship chase. Laverty took his four-cylinder bike to second, with his fellow Yamaha man Melandri was third but only after a tough battle. Biaggi was with Melandri in the final few corners but could not work a way past at the flag, taking a fighting fourth place. Biaggi’s team-mate Camier was fifth, having been in a podium spot for most of the race. Wildcard Hopkins was pushed to seventh by the impressive privateer Guintoli.
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'03.361 (167,494 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 2.274; 3. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 3.675; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 3.960; 5. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 4.405; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 10.958; 7. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 11.387; 8. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 11.496; 9. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 12.247; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 19.705; 11. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 19.753; 12. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 21.582; 13. Toseland J. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 27.235; 14. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 30.702; 15. Kirkham J. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 42.579; 16. Lai F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 43.420; etc.
Points (after 9 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 343; 2. Biaggi 281; 3. Melandri 272; 4. Laverty 208; 5. Haslam 158; 6. Camier 146; 7: Fabrizio 141; 8. Badovini 118; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 355; 2. Yamaha 320; 3. Aprilia 320; 4. BMW 194; 5. Suzuki 158; 6. Kawasaki 137; 7. Honda. 113.