World SBK Report
For the third time this season, Max Biaggi gave Aprilia a double win after taking the checkered flags at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City on Memorial Day for round seven of the World Superbike series. The Italian now has a 15-point lead over Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam.
But if Althea Ducati rider Carlos Checa didn’t have electrical/mechanical issues, the Spaniard may have had both victories. Checa led most of Race 1 and some of Race 2, but his privateer machine had some major issues, creating early retirement.
Carlos Checa says "Everything went well: the work, the preparation, the performance, the passion, the race, the team. Yet unfortunately the results did not come. It’s never happened before! We were strong and I will leave here with my head held high. I will immediately turn the page and concentrate on the upcoming tests in Misano and the next race, where I know we can do well. That’s racing…"
Though he had bad luck, Checa won two Pirelli awards for the fastest lap of each race, and set a new lap record of 1:48.045 (lap four of race one).
Checa got a tremendous start at the 3.04-mile circuit in the high deserts of Utah, getting out front of the 21-rider field quickly. He led for 17 laps, with only Biaggi’s RSV4 contending. The two battled, but Checa was faster, gapping Biaggi by 1.6 seconds for a few laps. But on lap 19 of 21, his Ducati 1198R had electrical problems, and he dropped out, giving the lead to Biaggi, who took the win.
Max Biaggi says "Very lucky. I think Checa deserved that race because he rode very hard. Honestly speaking he deserved it but racing is racing and sometimes these things happen. This time it was our turn. We had a very good pace and I am happy for me, my team and Aprilia."
Arriving in second 4.93 seconds behind Biaggi was Haslam on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. After getting a bad start, the Brit worked his way up front quickly.
Leon Haslam says "I didn’t get the best of starts I think I was about tenth away, and I got stuck behind Jakub Smrz when his engine blew and I was covered in quite a lot of oil, so I didn’t want to follow too close. I got a gift of second with Carlos breaking down, but we will take it."
Taking the last podium spot was Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga, who hasn’t had much luck this season. He didn’t get a good start, and was in sixth by the end of lap one. He moved into fifth, remaining there behind then-leader Checa, Biaggi and teammate Leon Camier, and then Haslam. By lap 18, Haslam got pass Camier, and this is when Nitro Nori made his move. After Checa retired, the Japanese rider moved into third, remaining there until the end.
Noriyuki Haga says "I’m really happy to be back on the podium today, but it wasn’t easy! At the start of Race 1 I was having trouble pushing but after a few laps the tires picked up a bit and I was finally able to get past Camier in the final stages. It’s a great result and the first time I’ve been on the Miller podium."
Over 55,000 fans witnessed Checa get out front quickly again, as in race 1, with Biaggi behind. Checa soon had a two-second gain over Biaggi, but on Lap 8 his Ducati failed for the second time, the team citing a mechanical problem.
Biaggi took advantage of Checa’s bike troubles, and had nothing but clear track ahead until taking the checkered flag.
Max Biaggi said "Two fantastic races. Nothing more would need to be said. We set up the weekend well, working a lot to take best advantage of the potential of the RSV4 on this beautiful circuit. Again in race 2 Checa immediately set a frantic pace, but I had more of a feeling than in race 1, so I think that I would have played it out down to the end anyway. I managed the advantage well. I must be thankful because this double win is to the credit of the entire Team and the guys who work at Noale, who give me the best possible support. I think the American fans had a good time as well. Today is an important day for us, but my mind is already on the next round. To make it to the lead spot in the standings is extremely important, but there is still a long season ahead of us, so… we’ll keep our feet on the ground."
Not only was it a huge day for Biaggi, taking his third double of the season (Portimao, Monza), but a first in history for Aprilia as Biaggi’s Alitalia Aprilia teammate Leon Camier took second; this is the first time Aprilia finished 1-2 in World Superbike history.
Camier battled with BMW Motorrad rider Troy Corser, and then took Sterilgarda Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow for second, 6.889 seconds behind Biaggi. The finish was Camier’s second podium of his WSBK career, and best finish in the series.
Leon Camier says "It couldn’t have gone any better than this. I rode a second race which was pushed to the maximum. The modifications to my RSV4 worked. Max had a better pace, so my goal is to keep working and growing so that I can stay up front. A double victory is always something magic, particularly this one which is the first for Aprilia. I hope I can give more of this kind of excitement to both the fans and the entire Team."
Crutchlow started from the grid in third, but was pushed back to sixth. He began moving through the field, finally taking third from Corser. He held his line and finished in third, 0.494 of a second behind Camier.
Cal Crutchlow says: "I think we deserved that. In the first race we were unfortunate. We got caught up in somebody else’s crash and just ran off the track. I think we came back strongly the second race, and all credit to Max and Leon, they rode a superb race. I think we’ve turned it around. Yamaha has done a good job this weekend. It was a very similar race to what Ben ran here last year, and he won by nine seconds – so it shows how fast these guys are going."
The only American currently competing in the series, Roger Lee Hayden, didn’t have much luck at a track, one that he has competed on numerous times in AMA Pro Racing. Hayden took 16th in Race 1, and crashed out of Race 2 while fighting with Kawasaki Racing Team riders Tom Sykes and Chris Vermeulen.
Roger Lee Hayden says "I am really disappointed with today’s results. Starting from the last rows always makes life difficult, but in the second race, after the first few opening laps, the bike felt great and I was able to make some fast laps. During the middle of the race I had a bit of a battle with Vermeulen and Sykes and I tried to overtaking them but I crashed and I was not able to restart. I’m sorry for the team and I want to thank them for setting things up so well on the machine. We still have some set up problems but overall I’m sure that during the next weeks my team will continue to work on the bike’s setting in order to be ready for next Misano races."
Biaggi now has 257 points, 15 ahead of Haslam. His double victory also moves Aprilia to the top of manufacturer standings with 263, 11 ahead of Suzuki.
Race 1 Results:
1. Biaggi M. (ITA), Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38.20.442
2. Haslam L. (GBR), Suzuki GSX-R1000 -4.931
3. Haga N. (JPN), Ducati 1198 -6.432
4. Camier L. (GBR), Aprilia RSV4 Factory -8.576
5. Corser T. (AUS),BMW S1000 RR -11.150
6. Byrne S. (GBR), Ducati 1198 -11.243
7. Scassa L. (ITA), Ducati 1198 -12.432
8. Guintoli S. (FRA), Suzuki GSX-R1000 -15.145
9. Toseland J. (GBR), Yamaha YZF R1 -16.091
10. Xaus R. (ESP), BMW S1000 RR -16.502
11. Crutchlow C. (GBR), Yamaha YZF R1 -18.719
12. Neukirchner M. (GER), Honda CBR1000RR -24.285
13. Sykes T. (GBR), Kawasaki ZX 10R -36.479
14. Rea J. (GBR), Honda CBR1000RR -39.700
15. Vermeulen C. (AUS), Kawasaki ZX 10R -41.253
16. Hayden R. (USA), Kawasaki ZX 10R -41.661
17. Parkes B. (AUS), Honda CBR1000RR -1.00.427
18. Baiocco M. (ITA), Kawasaki ZX 10R
RET, Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R
RET, Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R
RET, Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R
Race 2 Results:
1. Biaggi M. (ITA), Aprilia RSV4 Factory, 38:17.842
2. Camier L. (GBR), Aprilia RSV4 Factory -5.899
3. Crutchlow C. (GBR), Yamaha YZF R1 -7.363
4. Haga N. (JPN), Ducati 1198 -8.842
5. Corser T. (AUS), BMW S1000 RR -9.473
6. Guintoli S. (FRA), Suzuki GSX-R 1000 -12.293
7. Byrne S. (GBR), Ducati 1198 -12.483
8. Rea J. (GBR), Honda CBR 1000 RR -15.959
9. Fabrizio M. (ITA), Ducati 1198 -18.897
10. Scassa L. (ITA), Ducati 1198 -20.372
11. Xaus R. (ESP), BMW S1000 RR -26.823
12. Neukirchner M. (GER), Honda CBR 1000 RR -30.344
13. Vermeulen C. (AUS), Kawasaki ZX-10 R -33.377
14. Sykes T. (GBR), Kawasaki ZX-10R -38.772
15. Parkes B. (AUS), Honda CBR 1000 RR
RET, Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R
RET, Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R
RET, Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1
RET, Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R
RET, Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R
RET, Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000
World Superbike Standings (after 14 of 26 races):
1. Biaggi, 257 points
2. Haslam, 242
3. Rea, 151
4. Checa, 141
5. Haga, 135
6. Toseland, 132
7. Corser, 127
8. Camier, 115
9. Crutchlow, 107
10. Fabrizio, 102
11. Guintoli, 95
12. Byrne, 81
13. Smrz, 61
14. Xaus, 53
15. Sykes, 42
16. Scassa, 40
17. Neukirchner, 31
18. Lanzi, 26
19. Vermeulen, 9
20. TIE, Sheridan Morais/Andrew Pitt, 3
22. TIE, Hayden/Josh Brookes/Parkes, 2
World Supersport (According to a World Superbike Press Release)
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) extended his championship lead to six points at Miller by recording his first race win since Portimao. He also took a new lap record of 1’51.702, on lap six. Kenan has now won 16 career races in this class, extending his record number of wins again.
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) was second today, just over a second behind Sofuoglu, with Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com) third, 1.673 seconds from the win. Chaz Davies (ParkinGo Triumph Be-1) won a tight battle for fourth, with Sofuoglu’s team-mate Michele Pirro fifth. In the championship, Sofuoglu has 142 points, Laverty 136, Lascorz 128 and Davies 84.
Results: 1. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 1’51.879 (157,002 km/h); 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.097; 3. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.144; 4. Pirro M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’52.458; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Triumph Daytona 675 1’52.618; 6. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 1’52.682; 7. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.870; 8. Fujiwara K. (JPN) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’52.939; 9. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.241; 10. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.404; 11. Lagrive M. (FRA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’53.622; 12. DiSalvo J. (USA) Triumph Daytona 675 1’53.837; 13. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 1’53.932; 14. Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.425; 15. Odom T. (USA) Honda CBR600RR 1’54.704; 16. Lundh A. (SWE) Honda CBR600RR 1’55.096; 17. Chesaux B. (SUI) Honda CBR600RR 1’55.398; 18. Farrell J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’57.248; 19. Paris M. (USA) Yamaha YZF R6 1’59.202
Championship Standings (after 7 Rounds of 13): 1. Sofuoglu 142; 2. Laverty 136; 3. Lascorz 128; 4. Davies 84; 5. Pirro 58; 6.Salom 58; 7. Rea 54; 8. Harms 51; 9. Fujiwara 48; 10. Lagrive 44. Manufacturers: 1. Honda 170; 2. Kawasaki 128; 3. Triumph 94