After total domination of every session leading up to the season opener of the 2011 World Superbike Championship in Australia, Carlos Checa remained on top Sunday, doubling at Phillip Island.
The Althea Ducati 1198R rider was joined on the podium in Race 1 and 2 by the reigning Champion Max Biaggi aboard the Alitalia Aprilia RSV-4. Taking third in Race 1 was BMW Motorrad rider Leon Haslam, and the man entering 2011 World Superbike from MotoGP took third in Race 2, Marco Melandri on the Yamaha World Superbike YZF-R1.
Following are quick summaries of Race 1 and Race 2 at Phillip Island (courtesy of Althea Ducati); a complete lap-by-lap review of both races will be posted after the WSBK round is televised.
WSBK Race 1
Unfortunately certain sections of the track were still damp after a shower earlier in the day. Carlos nevertheless got away fast, finding himself in second position, behind Eugen Laverty on the Yamaha, by the end of the first lap.
The Spanish rider Checa made light work of passing Laverty a couple of laps later, to take command of the race. He immediately began to build up a gap and by mid-race he had a four second advantage over Biaggi in second position.
Checa made no mistakes in managing the last phase and won this first race in convincing style, ahead of Biaggi, second, and Haslam, third.
WSBK Race 2
Checa was once again in second place at race start. After the first corners, he was able to find a way past Haslam to take the lead, but the Englishman quickly responded.
During the following lap Checa was back on the attack and this time he regained control in definitive fashion.
From that point on, he ran a solitary race, managing his advantage in a near replica of race 1. He passed the checkered flag with an advantage of more than a second over Biaggi and Melandri in second and third respectively.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) says: "The sessions went extremely well and we knew we had good rhythm but you never know what might happen in the races, especially if you find a wet track on Sunday morning, as we did today. My strategy was to get ahead and keep pace as I knew my pace was stronger than that of my rivals.
"In Race 1, once past Laverty, I was able to find a good rhythm. It was a really great race. Every so often you have a weekend like that and we were lucky to be able to start the season in such a fantastic way.
"Race 2 was very similar, I managed the situation and we did it! A really great weekend in which we dominated from start to finish. We were also lucky with the weather; we couldn’t have asked for a better start. I want to thank Ducati and the team for believing in me. Next we head to Donington where we’ll continue to give 100 percent."
2011 World Superbike: Phillip Island Race 1 Results
1. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 34mins 16.503s
2. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +4.365s
3. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad S1000RR +10.719s
4. Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +11.266s
5. Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +11.293s
6. Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +12.039s
7. Jakub Smrz CZE Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +20.294s
8. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R +20.742s
9. Noriyuki Haga JPN PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +22.421s
10. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +25.822s
11. Roberto Rolfo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +29.270s
12. Jonathan Rea GBR Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +31.059s
13. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +31.721s
14. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR +36.389s
15. Bryan Staring AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +36.470s
16. Ruben Xaus ESP Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +41.928s
17. James Toseland GBR BMW Italia S1000RR +55.239s
18. Josh Waters AUS Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1min 00.312s
19. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1min 00.316s
20. Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Ducati 1098R +1min 30.125s
2011 World Superbike: Phillip Island Race 2 Results:
1. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 34mins 15.041s
2. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +1.188s
3. Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +1.406s
4. Jonathan Rea GBR Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +10.563s
5. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad S1000RR +10.885s
6. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +16.914s
7. Noriyuki Haga JPN PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +17.558s
8. Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +17.679s
9. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R +18.070s
10. Ruben Xaus ESP Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +19.053s
11. Jakub Smrz CZE Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +19.060s
12. Roberto Rolfo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +23.771s
13. Josh Waters AUS Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 +23.956s
14. James Toseland GBR BMW Italia S1000RR +28.713s
15. Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +32.673s
16. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +33.226s
17. Bryan Staring AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +42.598s
18. Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Ducati 1098R +51.819s
19. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +55.738s
World Superbike Championship Standings
1. CARLOS CHECA DUCATI 50
2. MAX BIAGGI APRILIA 40
3. MARCO MELANDRI YAMAHA 27
4. LEON HASLAM BMW 27
5. MICHEL FABRIZIO SUZUKI 18
6. JONATHAN REA HONDA 17
7. NORIYUKI HAGA APRILIA 16
8. TOM SYKES KAWASAKI 15
9. EUGENE LAVERTY YAMAHA 14
10. JAKUB SMRZ DUCATI 14
11. LEON CAMIER APRILIA 13
12. ROBERTO ROLFO KAWASAKI 9
13. RUBEN XAUS HONDA 6
14. TROY CORSER BMW 6
15. JOSHUA WATERS SUZUKI 3
16. JAMES TOSELAND BMW 2
17. AYRTON BADOVINI BMW 2
18. BRYAN STARING KAWASAKI 1