2012 World Superbike Championship
The 2012 World Superbike Championship makes its only USA appearance this Memorial Day Weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
And as in tradition, the double-header will be completed on Memorial Day, which is Monday in the states.
As the riders head into round six of 14 for the 2012 World SBK Championship, which is currently led by Aprilia Racing’s Max Biaggi with 128.5 points, five ahead of Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes, here are some interesting facts and stats on riders, teams and Miller Motorsports Park.
Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Rider Stats & Facts:
- Identical results for Leon Camier in Miller: fourth and second last year and two years ago, starting respectively from the eleventh and eighth grid spot. Leon climbed on the podium seven times in his career, but his best result, a second, was scored only in Miller;
- Max Biaggi was able to take advantage of Checa’s retirements in the two 2010 races to score a double. He followed that with a third in race two last year. Excluding the accident with Rea last year in race one, Max always finished the race among the first nine, even in 2009, when he started with the sixteenth time. He was able to start from the front row in second in 2010. In that year he took the lead of the championship standings in this race and never left it until he was crowned champion at the end of the season;
- Carlos Checa is the absolute dominator of the Miller track, with four wins and three pole positions. We have to add to the above two retirements from the lead, in 2010, a second behind Ben Spies in 2009 and a fall in race two in the same year, when he hit a kerb with the engine casing of his Ducati while running third. In 2008 he recorded here his maiden pole and win. Both in 2008 and 2011 Carlos set pole, double win and double fastest lap;
- In the 2010 Supersport race, Chaz Davies was sixth in grid and fourth in the race;
- Marco Melandri posted a third for the starting grid last year – first time on the front row – finishing tenth and sixth in the races;
- 20th and 18th in the 2009 Superbike races, David Salom was seventh in the 2010 Supersport race;
- Sylvain Guintoli finished his Miller races always between third and eighth, climbing on the lower step of the podium last year in race one behind Carlos Checa and Jakub Smrz, for an all-Ducati podium. That was his maiden career podium;
- Excellent results for Eugene Laverty in Miller: fifth and fourth in last year’s races. He was second both in 2009 and 2010 in Supersport, beaten twice by Kenan Sofuoglu;
- Jonathan Rea scored his best results in Miller in his first two races here, in 2009, when he was fifth and third. His performances then took a wrong course, with a fourteenth and an eighth in 2010 and an accident with Biaggi and an eleventh last year;
- Tom Sykes scored last year in race one his best Miller result out of six races run: sixth. He was ninth in race two, 2009, despite starting from the 22nd grid spot: last year his only start from the top-10 here, tenth. Tom always scored points in Miller;
- Eight superbike races in Miller for Michel Fabrizio, with a palmares cut in half: on the podium only in the first four (2008-2009), while in the last two years he was victim of two accidents in the first races, finishing on the podium in the second ones (ninth and fifth);
- Last year Ayrton Badovini was the best BMW rider at the finish in both races, with a seventh and a ninth and in 2008 he was the best Kawasaki rider in race one (17th);
- Only one podium for Leon Haslam in Miller, in 2010 race one, when he was second behind Biaggi after overtaking Leon Camier. His falls in 2010 and 2009 in the second races are the only ones in which he didn’t score points;
- One podium for Jakub Smrz in Miller: second in race one last year behind Carlos Checa. The Czech rider scored four more top-10 finishes, while he endured an unlucky weekend in 2010, when he retired twice for mechanical failures. Smrz qualified on the front row both in 2010 (fourth) and last year (second);
- Maxime Berger last year was able to score points in both races with a fourteenth and an eleventh
Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Team Stats & Facts:
- Aprilia scored the double with Max Biaggi two years ago and was back on the podium last year with Biaggi and Camier, for a total of five podium placements;
- BMW was never able to put his bikes on the front row or on the podium here: their best qualifying result is a sixth, scored last year by Troy Corser, and in the races a fifth, scored in both races two years ago by the same Corser;
- Ducati won for the first time here last year thanks to Carlos Checa (double): they were always able to climb on the podium, except for race two, 2010;
- Honda posted the double here in 2008, courtesy of Carlos Checa, then their performances faded: a double podium in 2009 and only one top-10 placement in the four races that followed. Last year in race one there weren’t Honda bikes in the points, putting an end to a 162 races streak, started in Qatar, 2005;
- The best result for Kawasaki came last year in race one, with a sixth by Tom Sykes. In eight races run here, only four times a Kawasaki finished in the top-10: Sykes finished twice in the top-10 last year, in 2009 Jamie Hacking was seventh in race one and in 2008 Regis Laconi was ninth in race two;
- No wins for Suzuki in Miller, twice second: in 2008 race two, with Max Neukirchner and in 2010 race one with Leon Haslam.
Miller Motorsports Park World Superbike Other Stats & Facts:
- Up to now Miller has been a one-way track: in all the races run the winner has scored the double and in three cases out of four he also recorded the pole and the fastest laps. The only time when this pattern was not respected was in 2010 due to a double mechanical failure by Checa.
- The aforementioned doubles were scored every year by a different manufacturer: in 2008 Honda, in 2009 Yamaha, in 2010 Aprilia and in 2011 Ducati.
- In the last three years the winners in Miller went on to take the championship.
World Superbike Milestones in the USA (from 1989 to 1991 the race was held in Brainerd, from 1995 to 2004 in Laguna Seca):
- 1989 – first win for the future World Champion Raymond Roche;
- 1990 – first win for Doug Chandler, that in qualifying scored the first Kawasaki pole;
- 1999 – first win for Ben Bostrom;
- 2000 – first pole position for Troy Bayliss;
- 2008 – First pole and win for Carlos Checa, 100th win for Honda;
- 2009 – Ben Spies breaks the record streak of pole positions, recording his seventh straight pole, the previous record was set by Doug Polen in 1991;
- 2010 – tenth win for Max Biaggi;2011 – tenth win for Carlos Checa, maiden podium for Sylvain Guintoli, first front row spot for Marco Melandri.
Compiled by Michele Merlino