WSBK AUSTRALIA (1 OF 13)
Phillip Island SBK Videos, Statements and Analysis
The first SBK event in Australia took place yesterday at Phillip Island. To complete our live reports, here are the statements of the SBK riders, our analyzes and the video summaries of the Superbike and Supersport races..
Analysis of the World Superbike in Phillip-Island
This Sunday at Phillip Island, Carlos Checa gave a real demonstration by flying over the 2011 Australian race at the controls of his Ducati Althéa. For the third time in his World Superbike career, the Spanish rider is pocketing the 50 points involved. !
Among his five previously acquired victories, Checa already had two doubles: the first on the Miller Motorsport circuit in the United States on Honda in 2009 and the second at Imola last year on Ducati. Proof that in his good days, Carlos can be quite simply untouchable !
Fans of Checa will not fail to recall that without the two technical glitches that occurred in quick succession last year at Miller, the Spaniard could even have obtained this third double much earlier..
To unlock this prestigious counter again, Carlos will therefore have had to wait for the return of the championship to Phillip Island. A track popular with Ducatis – and Suzuki too! – on which the n ° 7 had already won only once – here it is – last year.
For the very first time in his long international career, however, Checa is leading a championship: in fact, never since his debut in 1993 in a 125 cc GP, the Catalan driver had appeared at the top of the shelves. This is fixed !
Third in the championship last year – it is true that he had been well helped at the very end of the season by the injury of Jonathan Rea – Carlos takes on the jersey of Numero Uno at the very start of the season. How long the best Ducati rider – he was already last year ahead of Haga and Fabrizio! – will he be able to keep this status? No one knows.
On the other hand, we can already predict that the 1198R – that of Checa, but also those of Guintoli, Smrz or even Berger? – will talk about them again in qualifying and will be back on the podiums this year. The Bologna factory may no longer invest "in its name" in the World Superbike, its valiant soldiers remain mobilized !
So, after having congratulated all his guys, the team manager Genesio Bevilacqua does not forget to "also thank Ducati who I think can be satisfied with these results. Finally, I thank our sponsors who continue to support us despite the current economic difficulties." !
Less impressive than Checa this weekend, Biaggi nevertheless had two solid races and left Australia with 40 "big" points. The Italian also points out that his start to the season on the RSV4 has never been better … which bodes well for the future. ?!
The n ° 1 of the discipline thus won at Phillip Island his 48 and 49th podiums in 109 races contested since the beginning of 2007, against 21 out of 84 for Checa: "give back to the Roman Emperor what belongs to Biaggi", exclaim the Max fans !
Another perfectly legitimate source of satisfaction for Mad Max: although slower than Checa over all 22 laps, the reigning world champion has set the best time in the race of each round. Unfortunately, he failed to beat the record set in 2007 by Troy Corser on his R1. Next year maybe ?!
Note also that Aprilia n ° 3 n ° 1 is credited both times with the best top speed: 317 then 318.9 km / h! It just goes to show that the abandonment of the controversial distribution by cascade of pinions did not in any way deteriorate the formidable extension of the RSV4 Factory…
"I would like to recall the fact that Biaggi and RSV4 were already dominating when we used the original chain configuration", declared Aprilia Racing sporting and technical director Gigi Dall’Igna at the start of the week..
"The doubles at Portimao and Monza – a track where the engine counts for a lot – but also the final victory at Magny-Cours were obtained without the much-maligned sprocket distribution. The rule change on this point does not scare us", concluded the Italian boss.
Accompanying Checa and Biaggi on the first podium of the day, Leon Haslam has proven that he can be counted on from this season on the S1000RR. To regularly reach the podium this season, "Pocket Rocket" affirms that there remains, for him and his team, still progress to be made.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that the vice-world champion cannot claim, from his first year of collaboration with BMW, to the supreme title. Indeed, the German motorcycle has proven its worth in various championships last year (Superstock 1000 and the French championship in particular) and the English rider is one of the fastest and most regular riders on the grid..
Supported by the "good old" Troy Corser in the development of the Munich bombshell, Leon Haslam is one of the big favorites for the 2011 title and confirmed it from this first weekend of racing by securing 4th place on the grid starting point and pocketing 27 points in two races.
Marco Melandri is the fourth – and last – driver to reach the WSBK podium in Australia. For this former Grand Prix star, 250 cc world champion in 2002, MotoGP vice champion in 2005 and winner of three Australian GPs (125 cc in 1999, 250 cc in 2002 and MotoGP (990 cc) in 2006 ), is it a simple formality ?
Not really, for several reasons. The first was physical, since Marco underwent the same shoulder operation this winter as Valentino Rossi … Obviously, the n ° 33 recovered correctly … allows the Doctor’s fans to hope to great things for the start of the MotoGP season, March 20 in Qatar ?!
On the other hand, if he knew the route on the tips of his gloves, Marco discovered this weekend the Superpole event and the "two-stroke" race specific to the World Superbike. He also continued his apprenticeship on the Yamaha R1, its carbon-free discs, its Pirelli tires, etc..
The baptism of the Hedgehog of Ravenna ultimately went very well. Marco even allowed himself to take second place on the podium for a while with his compatriot Biaggi. Tired – two races in the afternoon is a lot – Marco had to bow.
It will be necessary to watch Melandri during his "confirmation" in a month at Donington Park, because it is a circuit that has never smiled on him in the MotoGP category: in seven participations, he entered only three times in the points – including a 3rd place all the same in 2006.
The other new Yamaha recruit, who had allowed himself to tax Max Biaggi during winter testing thanks to the timely use of soft tires (read), also responded to his first meeting. Admittedly, in the second round the Irish rookie – and not the "redhead Irish" … – got tangled up, stumbling on two false dead spots in three laps, and ended the day in a distant and disappointing 15th place.
But in the Superpole (5th) as in the race, "Youdjin" was particularly smart for a driver freshly picked in the Supersport championship! On four occasions, his R1 n ° 58 crossed the timing line before its competitors.
Renowned and appreciated for his tenacity and generous driving style, Laverty was able to play it safe – according to him – in the first round by settling for 4th place. Will it be the same in a month, "at his home" in Donington? Nothing is less sure !
Indeed, it is a proven fact: the British are always keen to shine on their land, whether in Twickenham (hum …), Donington Park or Silverstone! The next event to beautiful having been baptized the "European" round, the English and the Irish will try at all costs to kick the foreigners out of "their" podium..
As a reminder last year, Crutchlow not only won the double at Silverstone – Donington was no longer on the calendar – but his little comrades Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam, Leon Camier and James Toseland completed the Top 3 of the first round. then the Top 5 of the second !
If James Toseland will really have to shake himself up to get to the outposts (17th and 14th in the races at Phillip Island, which he considered to be "tests"ultimate …), Jonathan Rea for his part will indeed be present.
Wounded in the right hand – as long as we do, it’s that of the throttle and the brakes! – five days before the Australian races during the official tests, Johnny gritted his teeth and clinched an unexpected fourth place in the second round. Honda rider still can’t get over it himself !
We have to admit that making a comeback from 12th place on the grid – he had fallen again during the second phase of the Superpole! – to the foot of the podium is not an easy task … But doing it with a painful hand and / or with painkillers, it is quite simply an achievement !
Team Castrol Ten Kate n ° 4 now has a month to spare his health and land in Donington in full possession of his means. In better shape and on a track without a long straight – will it be better for his Honda, maybe a little worse for his hand? -, "JR" will once again be a serious customer !
A certain Leon Camier – still a British – was not unworthy either. Affected by an infectious mononucleosis ("Glandular Fever" is the exact term used by his doctors), the pilot n ° 2 of Aprilia was still wondering Sunday morning if he could complete the 22 laps that counted each round….
But the big one – by size, but also by courage – Leon did much better than that: 13th in the first round, he took advantage, like Rea and others, of the boondoggles of certain top names in the second round to win a 6th place totally unforeseen, but absolutely deserved !
Hopefully for them but also for us and the show, that Rea and Camier will be back in great shape at Donington Park. We also think of Chris Vermeulen who must watch with envy his Kawasaki teammates gradually domesticate the Ninja: Tom Sykes has to fight hard to integrate the Top 10.
Finally, Site wished Sylvain Guintoli a speedy and excellent recovery: "don’t worry about him", reassures us Roberto Bocchiola, press manager of the Ducati Effenbert Liberty team, live from Melbourne airport,"he took off from Australia to return home yesterday as originally planned".
The n ° 50 having completely missed his start, he wanted to do too much: 18th at the end of the first lap and 13th at the end of the following loop, he was in 10th place (a big second behind Haga, Corser and Fabrizio) when a fall stopped its progression.
Like the leading men, Sylvain was then running under 1 ’33, enough to claim the bare minimum of the Top 5. Instead, our compatriot collected "big bruises on one leg, knee and shoulder, swollen hand, blow to the head. But he was examined in Melbourne hospital: no broken bones or bigger problems: just big painful sores !", his team tells us.
Motivated by his excellent practice sessions at Phillip Island – he consistently ran on Checa and Biaggi times! -, the drômois exiled for many years near Donington has already warned his team that he would be ready for the next event, a sort of "home" race for him! Case to follow closely on Site: stay connected !
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