2011 World Superbike
History was made at Magny-Cours last weekend, as Carlos Checa not only took his first-ever World Superbike title at the French circuit, but also the first for a Spaniard in the series’ 24-year history.
And the 38-year old did it with much grandeur. With his race-1 win, Checa clinched the 2011 World SBK title. But he didn’t relax for a bit, and came back to win race 2 also, making for 14 race wins in 12 rounds.
With his title, Checa also allowed Ducati to achieve its 14th title.
Following are a list of statistics compiled by World Superbike:
- Wins in a season: the record belongs to Doug Polen, 17 in 1991. Checa is not able to beat this record; at the moment he recorded the second highest value, 14, equaling the championships of Troy Bayliss (2002) and Ben Spies (2009). It’s useful to remember that in thirteen cases a rider was able to post at least ten wins in a season, but only in three of them the rider was not on Ducati machinery: Max Biaggi last year (10, Aprilia), Colin Edwards in 2002 (11, Honda) and the aforementioned Ben Spies (Yamaha).
- Doubles in a season: the record was set by Doug Polen in 1991 and Troy Bayliss in 2006, six. Carlos can equal it in Portimao.
- Doubles in a season with both fastest laps: in Magny Cours Checa equalled the absolute season best of Doug Polen, 1991, recording his third double with fastest laps after Miller and Misano.
- Fastest laps in a season: Doug Polen set the absolute best at fourteen in 1991. Checa this year recorded eleven, third all-time value, one less than Noriyuki Haga in 2007.
- Podium placements: record of 25, by Colin Edwards in 2002. Carlos scored 20 podiums this year and in Portimao he can aim for the second all-time value, 22, recorded by Troy Bayliss in 2002.
- Front row starts: the record is thirteen, recorded four times, Checa is at eleven.
- Kilometers in the lead (*): in 2003 Neil Hodgson led for 1293 kms, Checa is now at 1003, with 202 kms to go in Portugal, Carlos is not in the position to beat this record. (*) data is available since 1998.
Additional World Superbike notes on King Carlos Checa:
- At 38-years old he is the second oldest rider to take his maiden title after Max Biaggi, which was 39 last year and, like Biaggi, he obtains the title at his fourth Superbike season,
- He is the first Spaniard to win the championship. Before him, the best result for Spain was recorded by Ruben Xaus, second behind Neil Hodgson in 2003.
- It’s the sixth time in history that the champion led the standings throughout the season. Before him: 1995 and 1999 Fogarty, 2000 Edwards, 2003 Hodgson, 2008 Bayliss.
- For the thirteenth time in history the winner of the opening race wins the championship, it didn’t happen since 2008 (Bayliss).
- After a two year wait (Yamaha and Aprilia), Ducati won again the riders crown: in the history of the world championship, the Italian manufacturer never failed for more than two years on a riders’ title. It happened also in the first two seasons 1988-1989 (Honda).
- Carlos heads to the last two races with a 107 points advantage over Marco Melandri, second-placed in the standings. The maximum advantage recorded at the end of a season was in 1991: 150 points separated Doug Polen from Raymond Roche.