Nurburgring 2011 World Superbike Results
Results from the 2011 World Superbike round at Nurburgring, Germany.
Checa Wins Race One – Kawasaki Wins Race Two
Ducati rider Carlos Checa took another significant step towards claiming the 2011 World Superbike title at Nurburgring in Germany.
The Spaniard carved out a perfectly executed victory in race one – his 11th of the year – before adopting a more cautious approach in race two after the heavens opened, delivering a track that ranged from merely wet to soaking and treacherous.
Tom Sykes produced Kawasaki’s first WSBK victory since 2006 in the shortened 13-lapper as race long leader Haga crashed out, Checa splashed his way to eighth and is now 74pts in front of second-placed Marco Melandri with three rounds – and a maximum of 150pts – remaining.
“Today’s first race was very special for me, and signifies my first ever SBK win at the Nürburgring,” said Checa. “The race one result was very important in terms of the championship. I knew that it was important to increase the gap between me and Noriyuki (Haga) in the first half of the race and this small advantage proved useful in the final stages when I began to suffer from a lack of grip.
“Race two on the other hand was one of the hardest races I’ve ever run. We were obliged to try to finish it of course but I was really suffering due to the sheer quantity of water and track conditions, and couldn’t even see as far as the next corner! But for us it was a very positive day and I’m very happy with the outcome.”
Australia’s Troy Corser (BMW) finished with 17-12 results at Nurburgring, while Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki) was 12th in race one before joining a long list of retirements when the rain hit in race two. Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki) didn’t compete as he continues recovery from an elbow injury.
In race one, Checa overcame some early aggression from Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga – who has been a dominant figure in recent years at Nurburgring on a factory Ducati – to gap his pursuers with absolute authority. Melandri eventually fought his way past Haga to finish in second, with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) and Leon Haslam (BMW) completing the top five.
Just hours later, the forecast of precipitation came to fruition in the most emphatic fashion, with Haga leading from the outset as Sykes slotted into second. But the Japanese veteran then cooked his goose on lap 13, crashing out just as officials were preparing to stop play early after the conditions became too unsociable for racing.
That left Sykes to soak up the glory – on a day when he learnt his services wouldn’t be required by Kawasaki in 2012 as it restructures its factory race team.
“What a day! My ankle injury from Silverstone was troubling me in the first race and I’ll be totally honest and say it affected my performance as the race went on,” said Skyes. “In race two, conditions were diabolical and it was a battle to stay upright but I kept things smooth and just kept my concentration.
“In the end it was the right decision to stop the race and I’m delighted to take my first Superbike World Championship victory and to reward the team for all their hard work.”
It was Kawasaki’s first WSBK win since 2006, and only its fourth since 2000.
In a stretched out group of finishers, Ducati teammates Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz completed the podium, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Honda) and Laverty, with Melandri pulling back a few points on Checa in sixth.
World champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia), who was second in the standings before Germany, wasn’t a round 10 player after hurting his foot in Friday practice.
It will now require a minor miracle for Australia’s Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) to win the championship after he was a distant seventh at Nurburgring, leaving him 67pts behind pacesetter Chaz Davies (Yamaha).
“We didn’t seem to have the usual engine performance here for some reason, from Friday on, and I struggled on the exit of some corners,” said Parkes. “I did not have the grip I wanted in the race and I was sliding quite a bit.
“I was seventh and this is not where we want to be. I tried my best and that is where we were today.”
Davies (Yamaha) had to summon all his braking ability on the final few laps to prevent James Ellison (Honda) from passing him. Davies won by just 0.091 seconds, with Sam Lowes (Honda) third from Luca Scassa (Yamaha) and Massimo Roccoli (Kawasaki).
Davies now has 171pts, well ahead of David Salom (Kawasaki, 112), Fabien Foret (Honda, 111) and Parkes (104).
NURBURGRING WORLD SUPERBIKE RESULTS
Race one: 20 laps
1 Carlos Checa, Spain, Ducati
2 Marco Melandri, Italy, Yamaha +1.855
3 Noriyuki Haga, Japan, Aprilia +2.322
4 Eugene Laverty, Great Britain, Yamaha +7.789
5 Leon Haslam, Great Britain, BMW +9.727
6 Sylvain Guintoli, France, Ducati +10.113
7 Joan Lascorz, Spain, Kawasaki +17.226
8 Leon Camier, Great Britain, Aprilia +17.228
9 Ayrton Badovini, Italy, BMW +18.166
10 Jonathan Rea, Great Britain, Honda +19.757
12 Mark Aitchison, Australia, Kawasaki +25.346
15 Troy Corser, Australia, BMW +33.320
Fastest lap: Checa – 1:55.971
Race two: 13 laps
1 Tom Sykes, Great Britain, Kawasaki
2 Guintoli +4.063
3 Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic, Ducati +22.759
4 Rea +28.497
5 Laverty +38.374
6 Melandri +45.326
7 Badovini +47.030
8 Checa +50.032
9 Haslam +53.586
10 Maxime Berger, Italy, Ducati +55.265
12 Corser +1:15.468
DNF Aitchison +3 laps
Fastest lap: Haga – 2:14.619
WORLD SUPERBIKE STANDINGS (AFTER ROUND 10 OF 13):
1 Checa 376
2 Melandri 302
3 Max Biaggi, Italy, Aprilia 281
4 Laverty 232
5 Haslam 176
6 Camier 154
7 Michel Fabrizio, Italy, Suzuki 141
8 Guintoli 139
9 Badovini 134
10 Haga 115
15 Corser 67
20 Aitchison 24
21 Chris Vermeulen, Australia, Kawasaki 14
Next round: Imola, Italy, September 23-25