Checa takes Island Double in World Supers
Ducati rider Carlos Checa has made a clean sweep of the opening 2011 World Superbike round at Phillip Island.
Carlos Checa Wins both Races at Phillip Island 2011
Checa makes it an Island double Ducati’s Carlos Checa has become the first rider to score a world Superbike clean sweep at Phillip Island since 2008 when he scythed through today’s two 22-lap races.
Checa simply took his opposition to the sword, and the clinical manner in which he claimed his sixth and seventh WSBK victories has set the Spaniard up for his best ever year in the production-based championship. Italy’s world champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia) completed the quinella in both races, while Briton Leon Haslam (BMW) and MotoGP convert Marco Melandri (Yamaha) claimed the final spots on the podium.
“It has just been the perfect week, from the beginning of testing last Monday and Tuesday until today,” said Checa. “I’ve had a strong pace the whole time, but you just never know what’s going to happen until the real action begins. “Certainly, it may have been a bit boring for the spectators to see me out front by myself, but it was the best strategy to put in place and the 50pts is just brilliant.”
The last rider to win both races at a Phillip Island WSBK round was Australia’s Troy Bayliss. And with Checa’s latest demolition, it’s now officially the longest period that a local rider has gone without a win at Phillip Island since the WSBK title first visited the seaside circuit in 1990.
It was a trying day for the Australian WSBK riders at Phillip Island, particularly for major hopes Troy Corser (BMW) and Josh Waters (Suzuki), who both ran into some major bother. Corser was 10th and 19th, while Waters finished with an 18-12 scorecard.
But the news was much better in world Supersport, with Newcastle’s Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) second in the hotly contested 21-lapper – his best ever result at Phillip Island. Race one in WSBK saw Checa, who started from pole position, lead for 19 of the 22 laps, crossing the chequered flag 4.365 seconds clear of Biaggi, with Haslam making it three different brands on the podium. Behind Haslam, who scored BMW’s maiden podium finish at Phillip Island, Northern Ireland’s Eugene Laverty just edged out Yamaha team-mate Melandri in a thrilling drag to the finish line, with the top eight completed by Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki), slow-starting Czech rider Jakub Smrz (Ducati) and Briton Tom Sykes (Kawasaki).
Corser circulated as high as fifth before gradually slipping back through the field to finish in 10th. Perth’s Bryan Staring, a wildcard alongside Waters, was 15th on his Kawasaki, three spots ahead of Waters and four in advance of Gosford’s Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki). Waters had earlier run off the track on lap four, with former world champion James Toseland (BMW) also caught out as collateral damage. There were 20 finishers, with Spain’s Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) and highly rated Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) both crashing out – enough to keep the latter off the grid for race two. After he pushed aside an early challenge from Haslam in race two, Checa then seized total control to complete a perfect start to the season for the world No. 3. Despite easing right off in the last few laps, Checa still won by a comfortable 1.188 seconds from Biaggi, who outlasted Melandri after a race-long scrap.
A resurgent Jonathan Rea (Honda) was fourth, a massive eight-spot improvement on race one, as he just got the better of Haslam. Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier was sixth, ahead of Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) and Fabrizio. Waters was the best of the Australians, while Corser’s hapless day continued when he ran off and then tumbled through the pack in the final stages.
“We started the race well and I felt good on the bike, but sadly I found a false neutral going into turn four and left the track,” lamented Corser. “I rejoined down the field and then really struggled for grip. “As the race progressed the tyre became really worn and I was losing traction everywhere — I simply couldn’t do the times I wanted. We have identified some points that need addressing before (the next round at) Donington Park, but for sure I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Biaggi set the fastest lap in both races, with his best a 1:32.012 in the second instalment, well shy of Corser’s four-year-old lap record of 1:31.826. Checa sits on a maximum 50pts ahead of Biaggi (40), Melandri (27), Haslam (27) and Fabrizio (18). Corser already has a major challenge on his hands after grafting out just 6pts at Phillip Island. In world Supersport, Parkes fell agonisingly short of claiming victory. After 21 thrilling laps, Yamaha’s Luca Scassa defeated Parkes by just 0.009 seconds, with Briton Sam Lowes (Honda) and Spaniard David Salom (Kawasaki) also heavily involved in the final, frenetic drag to the finish line.
“It was a great race, but unfortunately on lap two my brake reservoir came loose and it was flapping in the wind,” said Parkes. “I tried to tuck it in the fairing and I lost about two seconds in one lap. I just kept pushing, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. “But in the end I had a lot of grip and it felt good. Every time we get on the bike, we’re making steps and when it is that close at the end, it’s a good race.”
It was Scassa’s first world supersport victory, and a massive shot in the arm for his Italian-based ParkinGO team which only made a last minute switch to Yamaha equipment before the season commenced. Poleman Fabien Foret pulled out of the race with a flat tyre, an affliction which affected a number of other riders.
Round two of the championship will be held at Donington from March 25-27, where Australian Chris Vermeulen is expected to compete after sitting out round one to allow his injured left knee more time to recover.
Phillip Island – SUPERBIKE – Race 1
1. Carlos Checa Ducati (Althea Racing) 34’16.503 1098R
2. Max Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 34’20.868 Factory
3. Leon Haslam BMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 34’27.222 RR
4. Eugene Laverty Yamaha YZF (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 34’27.769 R1
5. Marco Melandri Yamaha YZF (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 34’27.796 R1
6. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki (Team Suzuki Alstare) 34’28.542 GSX-R1000
7. Jakub Smrz Ducati (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 34’36.797 1098R
8. Tom Sykes Kawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) 34’37.245 ZX-10R
9. Noriyuki Haga Aprilia RSV4 (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) 34’38.924 Factory
10. Troy Corser BMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 34’42.325 RR
11. Roberto Rolfo Kawasaki (Team Pedercini) 34’45.773 ZX-10R
12. Jonathan Rea Honda (Castrol Honda) 34’47.562 CBR1000RR
13. Leon Camier Aprilia (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 34’48.224 RSV4 Factory
14. Ayrton Badovini BMW (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 34’52.892 S1000 RR
15. Bryan Staring Kawasaki (Team Pedercini) 34’52.973 ZX-10R
16. Ruben Xaus Honda (Castrol Honda) 34’58.431 CBR1000RR
17. James Toseland BMW (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 35’11.742 S1000 RR
18. Joshua Waters Suzuki (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team) 35’16.815 GSX-R1000
19. Mark Aitchison Kawasaki (Team Pedercini) 35’16.819 ZX-10R
20. Maxime Berge rDucati (Supersonic Racing Team) 35’46.628 1098R
RT. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team) 20’23.035 ZX-10R
RT. Sylvain Guintoli Ducati (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 9’27.114 1098R
Phillip Island – SUPERBIKE – Race 2
1. Carlos ChecaDucati (Althea Racing) 34’15.041 1098R
2. Max BiaggiAprilia RSV4 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 34’16.229 Factory
3. Marco MelandriYamaha YZF (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 34’16.447 R1
4. Jonathan ReaHonda (Castrol Honda) 34’25.604 CBR1000RR
5. Leon HaslamBMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 34’25.926 RR
6. Leon CamierAprilia RSV4 (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 34’31.955 Factory
7. Noriyuki HagaAprilia RSV4 (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) 34’32.599 Factory
8. Michel FabrizioSuzuki (Team Suzuki Alstare) 34’32.720 GSX-R1000
9. Tom SykesKawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) 34’33.111 ZX-10R
10. Ruben XausHonda (Castrol Honda) 34’34.094 CBR1000RR
11. Jakub SmrzDucati (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) 34’34.101 1098R
12. Roberto RolfoKawasaki (Team Pedercini) 34’38.812 ZX-10R
13. Joshua WatersSuzuki (Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team) 34’38.997 GSX-R1000
14. James ToselandBMW (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 34’43.754 S1000 RR
15. Eugene LavertyYamaha (Yamaha World Superbike Team) 34’47.714 YZF R1
16. Mark AitchisonKawasaki (Team Pedercini) 34’48.267 ZX-10R
17. Bryan StaringKawasaki (Team Pedercini) 34’57.639 ZX-10R
18. Maxime BergerDucati (Supersonic Racing Team) 35’06.860 1098R
19. Troy CorserBMW S1000 (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 35’10.779 RR
RT. Joan LascorzKawasaki (Kawasaki Racing Team) 22’06.675 ZX-10R
RT. Ayrton BadoviniBMW (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) 1’32.012 S1000 RR