Aprilia SBK Race Report Phillip Island
The Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team experienced a weekend of ups and downs at the debut of the World Superbike (SBK) 2010 World Championships. Following a difficult Superpole, which ended with Max Biaggi in eleventh position and Leon Camier in sixteenth, the Aprilia RSV4s returned to their competitive nature out on the track.
In WSBK Race 1 Max Biaggi recovered from tenth position and ended up with a good fifth place finish after a long battle for fourth position. Leon Camier took his Aprilia RSV4 to eleventh place after overshooting and being forced to re-enter the race and catch up. In any case, both of the Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team drivers showed that they are able to keep up with the times turned in by the top drivers.
Something quite similar also occurred in WSBK Race 2. This time both Biaggi and Camier paid their dues for running of the track (during the fourth lap for Max and during the ninth for Leon). Despite the severe handicap, both re-entered the tight group that was following the five leaders and battling it out the sixth to twelfth positions, and managed to race once again after setting excellent paces. The race ended with Biaggi in eighth position and the young Brit finishing eleventh.
The results left somewhat of a bitter taste, but they also provide some important points in a world championship that even this early on is proving to be extraordinarily balanced.
Max Biaggi Speaks… SBK Phillip Island
"It didn’t go very well," stated Biaggi. "In Race 2, I went straight for the little curve, where Camier went off the track twice, because I was at my limit, and in these situations, a mistake is right around the bend. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m not going away disheartened or discouraged because we are aware of our own potential and we know we can surely do better when once we have eliminated these problems."
Leon Camier Speaks… SBK Phillip Island
"I’m very sorry about all of the mistakes I made," said Camier. "In Race 1 I tried to pass the other drivers at the little curve, but I overshot a bit while braking and in order to avoid hitting Max, I went off track. Then I really pushed to recover as many positions as possible. During the second race, I started off quite well and I was with the lead group right behind Checa, who immediately passed Toseland."
"When I attempted to pass, we ended up a bit wide. Then I shifted into the wrong gear and overshot at the same curve as in Race 1. I’m disappointed because I ran with very good times and seeing how the race ended, I could have had an excellent result. We’ve improved a lot, but I wasted a good opportunity. Now we’re headed to Portimao, a track that I know well and where I intend to keep up with the leaders. But, there’s still a lot of work to do and I especially have to improve during the Superpole."
World Superbike WSBK Championship Points Round 1:
Haslam 45, Fabrizio 36, Checa 34, Haga 27, Guintoli 23, Rea 23 (Neukirchner 4).
WSBK Round 2 is at Portimao, Portugal – 26-28 March, 2010