2011 World Superbike
Spoiler Alert: Imola World Superbike results below
Heading into Round 11 of the 2011 World Superbike Championship at Imola, Italy, Carlos Checa only needed 26 points to clench the title.
Up to round 11, the Althea Ducati rider won a total of 11 races, for a total of 376 points, the Spaniard leading Yamaha’s Marco Melandri by 26 points.
But with a 3-1 finish, Checa didn’t make his mark, although he is sure to clench the title at Round 12 in Magny Cours, France, Oct. 2.
Checa now has a 97-point lead over Melandri, who finished 8-6 at Imola Sunday. During race 1, Melandri struggled with setup on the YZF-R1. For race 2, the Italian switched to a softer tire, but made some mistakes, landing him in sixth.
The first race went to Castol Honda’s Jonathan Rea, the Northern Irishman utilizing a “Ride-By-Wire” electronic throttle control, which was just sanctioned for use in World Superbike last week.
Starting from the pole, Checa was shuffled back to second behind Rea. Checa then lost second to Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty, then fell back to fourth behind Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes.
But in the final stages of Race 1, Checa got past Sykes to take the final podium position behind Pata Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga, who set a new lap record at Imola, and race-winner Rea.
In Race 2, it was again Rea who got out front first, with Checa descending back into fifth. Rea led every lap up until four remained. During his time up front, Rea held a 3.5 second lead over Checa when a connector on the Honda’s battery failed, forcing him to pit. Due to the troubles, Rea suffered a DNF.
Meanwhile, Checa battled his way through the pack, getting into second behind Rea on lap 15. When Rea had the troubles, Checa would be first, holding the top position for the win, which became his 12th of the 2011 World Superbike Championship.
Finishing second once again was Haga, with Alitalia Aprilia’s Leon Camier taking the final podium position.
Carlos now holds 417 points and leads with an advantage of 97 points over Melandri in second position. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturer’s championship with 441 points to Aprilia’s 376.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R Superbike) says: “Race 1 was really exciting, I battled hard with Sykes and it was a clean, fun race. In the end I was perhaps a little faster than him and I closed in third, an already very satisfactory result.
“Then Race 2 was even more thrilling! I’m sorry for Rea who had the pace to win, and for Melandri who was perhaps a little unlucky this weekend but of course I’m extremely happy to have won here at Imola. The championship is not yet over but we are very close to the title. We go on to the next round and what will be, will be. It’s been a perfect weekend, I’m over the moon and want to thank the entire team, Ducati, the sponsors and of course all of the fans.”
2011 Imola World Superbike Results:
21 laps, race one:
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Castrol Honda 38m03.396s
2. Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Aprilia +0.111s
3. Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati +9.499
4. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki +9.792
5. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Yamaha +14.669
6. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati +16.820
21 laps, race two:
1. Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati 38m04.538s
2. Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Aprilia +4.631s
3. Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia +15.159
4. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Yamaha +17.195
5. Leon Haslam (GBR) BMW +17.388
6. Marco Melandri (ITA) Yamaha +18.533
2011 World Superbike Championship points (after 11 of 13 rounds):
1. Checa 417
2. Melandri 320
3. Max Biaggi 281
4. Laverty 256
5. Haslam 187