2011 World Superbike
Heading into the penultimate round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship at Magny-Cours, France, Carlos Checa only needs three points to clinch his first-ever title.
The Althea Ducati rider, who was expected to carry the Italian Manufacturer through the series after Ducati pulled all factory efforts, has dominated 2011 World SBK, the Spaniard winning 12 races in 11 rounds.
If Checa wins the 2011 title, he’ll become the first Spaniard to do so in World Superbike’s 24-year history. This should be a sure thing for the 38-year-old Ducati 1198R rider, considering the only man with a chance of stopping him, Yamaha’s Marco Melandri, trails Checa by 97 points.
With only three points needed, Checa’s 3-9 results from last season would be more than enough to clinch the title one round early before the season finale at Portimao.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198 R Superbike) says: “We are going to Magny-Cours where we want to make two good races, top level races. The track is not particularly favorable to us but we‟ll be giving it our all and we‟ll see. We‟ve demonstrated our potential all year long and I really don‟t want Sunday to be a celebratory walk in the park, I prefer to work hard as we have done every weekend, because this is the best way to receive the title.
“I am expecting an unforgettable day but the prize should be awarded for a year‟s worth of hard work, by the entire team. We have a great package and so I would like to accept the trophy in the correct way, which means that we‟ll continue to give 100% until the very end.”
As for Melandri, the World Superbike rookie has a chance at stopping Checa, but it’s very slim; if Checa doesn’t garner three points, the Italian Melandri would have to win both races to remain a title contender.
Marco Melandri (Yamaha Factory Racing M1 Superbike) says: “Magny Cours is another new track for me. I didn’t have the chance to test there last year at the end of the season like quite a few other riders did, so I’m not sure what to expect.
“I haven’t seen much of the circuit on TV or on the internet, but I’m looking forward to discovering it. Going by last year’s results, where Cal took a race win and a second place on the podium, it looks like it could be a good track for the R1. My ambition is to be at the front, pushing for a podium and even a race win or two.”
The only other man who also rivaled Checa this year was the reigning World Superbike Champion, Max Biaggi. But the Alitalia Aprilia rider injured his foot after hitting some debris at Nurburgring, and never fully healed. Due to the injury, Biaggi missed last weekend’s round at Imola, and will also miss Magny-Cours.
But with Biaggi missing, Melandri’s teammate Eugene Laverty will be battling for points to take third overall this season. Laverty currently trails Biaggi by 25 points. Fifth in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, 69 points behind Laverty, is BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam.
Magny-Cours Circuit Data
- Country: France
- Name: Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
- Length of circuit: 4.411 km
- Pole Position: right
- Race distance: 23 laps/101.453 km
Magny-Cours Lap Records:
- Best lap – Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1’38.619 (2009)
- Superpole – Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’37.699 (2010)
2010 Magny-Cours World Superbike Results:
- Race 1 – 1. Crutchlow (Yamaha); 2. Haslam (Suzuki); 3. Checa (Ducati)
- Race 2 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) ; 2. Crutchlow (Yamaha); 3. Fabrizio (Ducati)
2011 Magny-Cours World Superbike on TV
SPEED TV will broadcast Magny-Cours WSBK on Sunday, Oct. 2; Race 1 will be shown at 3 p.m. (EDT), followed by Race 2 at 4 p.m.