World SuperBike Returns to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah
The Spaniard, who entered this event as championship leader, had a dose of good luck this time as his two main rivals had difficult raceday experiences. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) was tenth and then sixth, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) crashed out of race one after colliding with Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda). Reigning champion Biaggi recovered good ground in race two, ultimately earning a third-place finish.
The podium in race one was a Ducati whitewash, with privateer Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli securing second and third-places respectively. Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier beat him to second in race two as the tall Englishman took his second podium of the season. Fourth-place in the championship is now held by Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) with his fifth and fourth-place finishes in Monday’s races, lifting him above both Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Rea.
“Just a few dry practice sessions on Saturday gave WSBK teams a limited possibility to set up their machines, since Sunday qualifying saw a constant downpour of rain,” said Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director of Pirelli Moto. “Hard-compound SCR2 Diablo Rain tires were supplied in order to guarantee excellent performance on this wet abrasive track and to keep riders’ confidence in such difficult conditions, considering the need for numerous changes in traction control settings.
Checa won the first race of the day, a clean sweep for Ducati in the 21-lap contest on a dry track. Smrz and Guintoli filled the remaining podium places, in second and third respectively, with Camier recovering from a mid-race hiccup to take fourth place away from Laverty. Sykes made a great final push to take sixth on his Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike machine, while satellite rider Badovini held off the challenge from Haslam to finish seventh.
“It was a good race, at the beginning I took things easy because of the track conditions,” said Race 1 winner Carlos Checa. “We didn’t know if we made the right choice for the feeling, but we managed to adapt, the feeling came lap after lap and I was able to overtake the riders in front. It was a race I was able to control, and my rivals didn’t have the conditions I had so racing is like that.”
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'46.915 (159,425 kph); 2. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 2.766; 3. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 4.093; 4. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.885; 5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 15.718; 6. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 20.477; 7. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 22.170; 8. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 22.267; 9. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 24.087; 10. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 27.150; etc.
Checa took his second win of the day and his sixth of the year when he was victorious in race two and led Camier and Biaggi home with some degree of ease. Fourth-place went to Laverty, with Michel Fabrizio making a fine return from a race one fall to record fifth for Suzuki Alstare. Melandri had an eventually lonely run to sixth. Guintoli, Smrz, Badovini and Sykes rounded out the top ten, with star names Noriyuki Haga and Troy Corser not making the end of the race.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to get this result, especially after last year, said Checa. “We did a great job, we knew we had a chance but you just never know. I don’t know what is special about this place for me, I just feel really good here ever since I first did the double. I actually like left-side tracks and probably it’s my riding style as well, altogether a combination of things make me strong and help me win here.”
“I can say that the second race was much better than the first today, when I had a crash with Rea and was a little bit unconscious for a while,” Max Biaggi exclaimed. “In race 2 I started worse than race 1, caught the guys in front and couldn’t go faster than third-place, but I’m quite happy with that. I really regret race 1 because a podium for me was easy, but that’s racing. Today is today and tomorrow is another day!”
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'22.082 (161,145 kph); 2. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 7.194; 3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.734; 4. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 14.214; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 14.750; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 21.634; 7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 24.079; 8. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 25.688; 9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 29.621; 10. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 30.681; etc.
Points (after 5 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 195; 2. Melandri 134; 3. Biaggi 133; 4. Laverty 109; 5. Haslam 95; 6. Rea 94; 7. Camier 91; 8. Fabrizio 85; 9. Smrz 83; 10. Guintoli 54; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 202; 2. Aprilia 172; 3. Yamaha 171; 4. BMW 117; 5. Honda 98; 6. Suzuki 89; 7. Kawasaki 69.