2011 World Superbike
Although Carlos Checa didn’t win at Brno World Superbike, the Spaniard’s double-podium finishes added to his point lead.
After finishing third in both races, the Althea Ducati 1198R rider now has 293 points, 30 ahead of Alitalia Aprilia’s Max Biaggi after the eighth of 13 rounds.
At Brno, Checa couldn’t catch Biaggi or Yamaha’s Marco Melandri. In race one, it was Melandri who took the win over Biaggi and Checa; race 2 went to Biaggi, who won ahead of Melandri and Checa.
Here’s what the WSBK riders were saying following the Brno race:
Max Biaggi (Alitalia Aprilia RSV4 Superbike) says: "Everyone was expecting this victory and now I am very happy for me, for Aprilia and for my many fans here, but it was certainly not easy. Let’s just say that Race 1 taught me something.
"I would have liked to have been faster there in the last laps, but that’s not always possible. So, along with my team, which did some excellent work, we decided to make a few changes to my RSV4. Just some small details that, in races like these, can make all the difference.
"I tried to maintain a pace which would break away from Melandri, but when I saw at the end that he was still there, I prepared for a direct battle. When he overtook me I didn’t think for an instant about letting up. I looked for a hole to overtake him as soon as I could and then I pushed it to the maximum. I wanted this victory too much.
"It is still a long championship and Checa has a lot of advantages. There are tracks ahead which are more favorable for him and even here he did very well. But we are very determined. We’ll try to be consistent and not to let up, right down to the very end."
Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike YZF-R1) says: "It’s a great sensation to be on my third win of the season but I still need to do a double. I’m really happy with today’s results. At the beginning of race one I didn’t think I’d catch up on Max, so I immediately passed Eugene in order to tail him.
"I was struggling to keep in front, at times Max was faster than me. Race two was also very difficult. I certainly didn’t give up but it wasn’t easy to keep pushing. Max and I had a nice battle which I think we both enjoyed, and I’m sure the spectators did also. I have to say thanks to the team for doing such a good job again. I’m looking forward to Silverstone."
Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike YZF-R1) says: "Today wasn’t the best day for me, I had hoped to do much better. I had to settle for two fifth places when I could have done more. I was struggling with power, and getting up straight line speed.
"I was on the same pace as the top riders but losing time on straights even though I was riding to the limit. Considering the circumstances, the result wasn’t too bad. We need to pull out the data and investigate to understand where we can improve and be stronger for Silverstone."
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R Superbike) says: "I’m really very happy with a double podium here. In Race 1 my start wasn’t so bad but it took a few laps to pass Eugene and once past him it took some time to reach Max and Marco ahead.
"Once there I tried to keep the pace and stick with them. It was hard to find the right place to pass, I got by Max at one point but he came straight back past me. It was a great battle and to be honest I am happy with third because this has always been a tough track for me. Considering the situation, the track, our rivals, we are quite satisfied.
"We worked well all weekend, found a good set-up, chose the right tire and really did our best. Max and Marco were really very strong today, it’s a shame I couldn’t quite be there with them but we’re happy nevertheless. We still have a lead in the championship and it is important that we are competitive and consistently fast. Silverstone will be another difficult one for us but then come other tracks where we are at less of a disadvantage so we’ll see. I’m taking it one race at a time."
Michel Fabrizio (Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike) says: "I am happy to get two fourth places today considering all things. I have raced here before with a broken collarbone, but that pain was nothing like my right foot today. Every time I pushed down hard on the right footpeg I was in agony, and, as this circuit is a clockwise one, there are a lot of right turns. I couldn’t push as hard as normal in the right-handers and that prevented me from going any quicker.
"I was happy with my bike set-up and enjoyed the races – apart from the pain of course. I used the same bike and tyres for both races and the only thing we did was a small adjustment to improve the grip. The grip was better in the second race, but once the front three had pulled out a gap, I found it difficult to catch them. But all-in-all, I’m pretty happy with my results today."
Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad S1000 RR Superbike) says: "In today’s first race I had a good start. With new, grippy tyres I was struggling a little bit with my pace, so some other riders were able to pass me. But when the grip went away I did not go any slower – but they did, so I caught up again. That was a good battle and I passed three guys during the last few laps, which was exciting.
"In race two I was held up a little bit so Ayrton, who was in sixth, could get away. But then I had a really good battle with Lascorz in the last two laps. They were two pretty hard races for eighth and seventh. Of course this is not where we want to finish, but we kind of understand what the issue is and know what direction to take now. I am pretty happy with the progress we made and I hope we can make up the difference at my next home race at Silverstone."
Alex Lowes (Castrol Honda CBR1000RR Superbike) says: "The weekend was great but I’m just really disappointed with the crash in the second race. The front didn’t really feel good from the start, like there was a lack of grip, which was frustrating and that probably led to the crash. But before that, we’d made progress in every session and gone faster, even in the first race.
"I feel that I’ve worked really hard to change my style and the weekend went well until that rubbish end. Still, it’s been a mega experience and I’d really like the thank the people at Honda, Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate an d all the guys in the team for giving me this opportunity and for teaching me such a lot. I think it’s definitely made me a better rider. I’m going to have a chance to continue to change my braking style at a test with the team next week in Assen and I know I’ll learn even more then."
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda CBR1000RR Superbike) says: "I don’t think I did anything different in the crash, so I’m not sure why it happened but it almost felt like a double highside. First the rear let go and threw me out of the seat. It seem to correct and I thought I would save it but while I was out of the seat it went again and just threw me forward over the front.
"I got a really big bang from the tank on my leg and, although there was no break, it swelled up and I could not bend it enough to ride in race two. It’s a disappointing end to the weekend where I cannot deny we have had some problems. It’s frustrating because everyone in the team wants to fix t hem and is trying their best to do this. I won’t know for a week or so how bad the leg is but I hope we can get back to some better results at Silverstone."
Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike) says: "We managed to finish the weekend with two sixth places and, objectively, I think this is the best that we could realistically achieve. The result is important because it moves us up two positions in the standings. My confidence with the bike is growing and I am increasingly at ease in dealing with the competitors on track at this level, which for me represents a significant development from the beginning of the season."
Roberto Rolfo (Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike) says: "I’m very happy with today’s results also because I was able to reach the points zone in both races. Starting from the first few laps I pushed very hard and found a very fast pace.
"I was able to overtake a lot of riders and only during the last laps did I have to reduce my rhythm because the tires had no more grip. Starting from Aragon my team found a good set up for my Kawasaki and now I’m more comfortable on the bike and I’m sure we’ll reach some good results also in the next races. We must improve on our results during the qualifying sessions to reach a better starting position for the races. I want to thank my crew for having done such a wonderful job this weekend."
Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike) says:"My two races in Brno today have been satisfying but difficult. During race one we unfortunately broke an internal clutch spring which affected my result. For race two the team made a decision to revert back to our original clutch from Aragon.
"This meant I was entering in race two with a bike I was slightly unfamiliar with, but I believe it was the right choice. My pace in race two was quite good but again as in Aragon, after eight laps we suffered a major loss of grip from the rear tire. Overall I’m happy with the work from this weekend, but we must again look to improve the bike on consistent rear grip. Thank you to my team for their hard work this weekend."
Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Superbike ZX-10R) says: "To go from 19th into the top ten two times is very good in the circumstances; good for me and the team. They were hard races and I had to pass a lot of other riders. Haslam and I battled together and with two laps to go I passed him in the last corner and touched him.
"In the next lap he did the same to me, but no problems, I have no problems with it, it’s just racing! We made the improvement in race one by changing the traction control a little and in the second race I only changed the suspension a small amount, based on my experiences of race one. The tires were the same. I felt very good through the second race."
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Superbike ZX-10R) says: "I knew it would not be the easiest of weekends, but when it came to qualifying, with fresh tires, I could make it count. We got on the second row, which is what we are aiming for each time but in the races – we did not think they would be quite that hard. Still this circuit was not going to suit the problems we are experiencing on the bike set-up and I cannot ride how I want to.
"I’m far from happy with today’s results, as I am sure most of the team are. Having said that, we are all in it together. I’m not going to let it knock my confidence and I will give it my all at the next race. I just hope that we can find a bit better balance sooner rather than later. If you look ay Misano and Aragon we also had a hot track surface and we were strong there."
Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki Superbike ZX-10R) says: "We have been struggling all weekend since the crash on Friday morning. I did warm-up and I said to the team I would be OK to race but 20 laps together was really hard. For the last eight I was riding around to just finish. My elbow had really swollen up and my back was sore after Friday. Together with the team we took the decision not to take any more risks and not ride in race two."