Max Biaggi: Kyalami Superbike Shuffle
World SBK Race One: On a track that may not be favorable for the Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team RSV4, Max Biaggi and Leon Camier raced on the forefront of the first race in the South African World Superbike round.
Max ended with a fourth place, which allows him to contain the gap behind the world lead ranking Leon Haslam who crossed the finish line third. The Suzuki colors bearer now has a 6-point advantage (197 vs 191).
Max Biaggi, initially delayed by having to overtake his teammate Leon Camier, launching well out of the eighth block of the grid, then had a long battle with James Toseland (Yamaha).
When he was able to overtake the English rider – with a spectacular pass on the outside of the turn and then stubbornly holding the trajectory – there were nine laps to go, not enough to chase down the podium.
Leon Camier battled for the entire second half of the race with Toseland, Crutchlow and Rea. The spectacular duels confirmed the battle skills of Aprilia Team’s young Englishman.
With this placing Leon moves up to 82 points, which take him into ninth place in the World Superbike rankings.
World SBK Race Two: The weekend on the Kyalami track ends on a positive note for the Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team with Biaggi on the podium in race 2.
Max battled for the entire race in the front positions and made things exciting with continuous duels against Haslam (Suzuki) and Rea (Honda). In the end Max came in third behind Haslam and Rea.
A result the team reads as positive considering the many uncertainties of the eve before made the South African transfer one of the most feared because of the characteristics of this track.
Now max is second in the world rankings with 207 points, 15 lengths behind Haslam at the front and 66 points ahead of Rea and Checa who are tied in third place.
Leon Camier, who in race 1 had raced on the attack earning a nice sixth place, instead had an unlucky race.
Delayed by technical problems (probably tires which are now being checked) and little by little made him lose ground and fall back to the rear until he threw in the towel on the eighteenth lap.
Max Biaggi says: "It was a great race in the places that counted. Haslam, Rea and I overtook each other, which I think made for a great show. Both from second and third place I tried several times to overtake but it is really very difficult here – there is practically one line, which everyone has to follow. Haslam was very fast and raced well, keeping to his lines."
"But for me a podium is really a good result, this third place on a circuit that is really very very complicated for us is to be accepted with satisfaction. In light of the two races, considering the fourth place in race 1, I’d say that one of the transfers we feared the most came out well. The gap from the top moves a bit back and forth, but the championship is still very long."
"I think we can be satisfied with this weekend in Africa and now I can’t wait to arrive at the next races to show our true potential. The guys on the team have done a great job, but tracks like this one bring out the best experience in our competitors. In particular we still need to work on acceleration which makes things a bit difficult for us coming out of the mid-slow turns".
World Superbike Championship Standing (after 6 Round of 13): 1. Haslam 222; 2. Biaggi 207; 3. Rea 141; 4. Checa 141; 5. Toseland 125; 6. Haga 106; 7. Corser 105; 8. Fabrizio 95; 9. Crutchlow 86; 10. Camier 82
Manufacturers Standing: 1. Suzuki 222; 2. Aprilia 213; 3. Ducati 185; 4. Honda 150; 5. Yamaha 135; 6. BMW 108; 7. Kawasaki 39