WSBK – WSBK: Checa then Yamaha win in Portugal –

WSBK: Checa then Yamaha win in Portugal

WSBK - WSBK: Checa then Yamaha win in Portugal -

In the first round, the champion Checa managed to beat a Guintoli in great shape. The second round – and final race of the year – saw Melandri and Laverty’s R1s beat Rea’s Fireblade … In Supersport, Davies and his R6 clinch their 6th victory.

In the first round, the champion Checa managed to beat a Guintoli in great shape. The second round – and final race of the year – saw Melandri and Laverty’s R1s beat Rea’s Fireblade … In Supersport, Davies and his R6 clinch their 6th victory.

First Superbike race

Jonathan Rea got off to an excellent start and took the reins of the race ahead of Marco Melandri, Sylvain Guintoli, Eugene Laverty, Carlos Checa, Tom Sykes, Joan Lascorz, Max Biaggi (started from 17th place on the grid!), Leon Haslam and Leon Camier.

From the first turns, Sylvain attacks very hard and overtakes the official Yamaha n ° 33 to climb to 2nd position … Our second Frenchman, Maxime Berger occupies 13th place, the same one he occupied on the grid at the start.

In the first straight line, Marco dislocates Sylvain but the Ducati rider has to brake again! Jonathan Rea is not far ahead, but Laverty, Checa and two Ninjas – Sykes and Lascorz – also form the hunting party..

On the second passage in front of the pits, Sylvain hoisted his 1098 in front of the Fireblade n ° 4 and kept the lead on the first braking. In the background, we see an official Aprilia going straight in this same bend: it is Camier’s n ° 2.

A few curves later, Laverty almost got thrown off his feet by his R1 and momentarily left the track! The incredible figure of the Irishman sows chaos at the head and our national n ° 50 takes the opportunity to widen a slight gap on Rea, Melandri and Checa.

Behind, Sykes slows down on his third lap and lets his teammate Lascorz pass. In the next loop, Tom is passed by Leon Haslam, then by Max Biaggi at the start of the 5th lap … Behind the Englishman n ° 66 again, Badovini, Berger and Haga only have eyes for the 6th Haslam Square !

Straight ahead, Guintoli sets his own pace and rolls half a second in front of pole man Johnny. Vice-campione Marco and Campeon Carlos remain about a second behind the Frenchie. Lascorz is isolated in 5th place, four seconds ahead of the infernal group led by Haslam and Biaggi who never stop arguing.

In the 9th lap, Carlos Checa gets an incredible heat in the long final curve: while he loads his rear axle to the maximum, the Pirelli suddenly slips and the Ducati goes across … The Spaniard – helped by the electronics of his 1198 – narrowly avoids the highside … Qué Calor !

In the peloton, the fight continues: Biaggi proves to be faster than Haslam and takes 6th place. The Roman Emperor then lets "Pocket Leon" bicker with the boiling Sykes.

Checa having quickly regained his senses, the Spaniard ejected Melandri from the third step of the podium at halfway. The n ° 7 continues its momentum and quickly threatens Rea. One lap later, n ° 7 hoists his Ducati on the second step by exiting ‘- or almost … – to n ° 4 Honda.

There are still 10 laps to go and Sylvain Guintoli is 1.6 seconds ahead of El Toro. On Ducati also, Berger does not let go of the backsplash of his best enemy Ayrton Badovini…

Our No. 121 went on the attack in the 14th round and overtook three opponents – yes, three! – in less time than it takes to type it on a keyboard! Our rookie then turns almost two seconds faster than his direct competitors, i.e. in the same lap times as the Top 3.

The leading trio is now completely shattered: Guinto ‘still has a big second ahead of Carlos and almost three over Johnny. Fourth at more than five seconds, Melandri must be wary of Lascorz placed in his wake. Biaggi is alone in 6th position, ten seconds behind the leader and six seconds ahead of Berger.

 With five laps to go, Carlos Checa reduced his gap on Sylvain Guintoli to less than a second. Marco Melandri gets lost in a bend, lets Joan Lascorz escape and finds himself just ahead of his great rival Max Biaggi … The Aprilia rider takes his 5th place from the Yam ‘rider on the 19th lap.

Ten seconds ahead of them, Checa makes short work of Guintoli: the 2011 champion rolls half a second faster than Sylvain and flies towards a 4th consecutive victory! Rea is almost assured of his 3rd place … provided his Fireblade is not dropped again by a 50 cent coin. !

Biaggi for his part had a superb end of the race: not content with having snatched his 5th place from Melandri, the Pirate subtracted Ninja Lascorz from his 4th place one lap before the lowering of the checkered flag! Melandri rolls up to a lonely 6th place, while Maxime Berger tumbles to a superb 7th place, his best result in WSBK.

Carlos Checa enjoys his 15th victory of the season, Sylvain Guintoli his third podium of the season and Jonathan Rea his fourth. Starting from 17th place on the grid, Max Biaggi pocketed 13 points for 4th place and returned to Laverty (19th in the race) in the championship.

Supersport Race

Chaz Davies jumped from his 3rd place to the lead of the race. At the exit of the first corner, Gino Rea goes highside, climbs a good meter above his CBR but manages to stay on his two wheels, failing to stay on the track! The Englishman takes the unfortunate Broc Parkes with him…

The Australian regains the track in penultimate position – ahead of the miraculous Rea -, while his great rival in the championship, Fabien Foret, occupies 6th place behind Chaz Davies, Sam Lowes, David Salom – who also plays 2nd place of the championship -, Florian Marino and Massimo Roccoli. 

Our n ° 99 lost a few places in the 2nd lap and reached 8th place at the start of the 3rd loop. His – our! – compatriot and teammate n ° 21 on the other hand sneaks to the outposts, dominating Salom. But the Spaniard, put under pressure by James Ellison, overtook the little Frenchman on the 4th lap. The Briton takes advantage of Florian’s slight gap to pass him in the same turn.

Almost three seconds ahead of this fabulous trio, Chaz Davies is forced to step up the pace: Sam Lowes signs better times than the Yamaha rider and stalls less than half a second from the Welshman. Meanwhile, the battle for the 3rd step of the podium turns to Ellison’s advantage.

Fabien Foret drives a second slower than the leading men and has to be content – for the moment? – 8th place: the former Supersport champion is surrounded by Roccoli, Iannuzzo and Quarmby. Florian Marino, still 5th, is chased by Luca Scassa.

The first third of the race is over and the 2011 champion is still in the lead. But "Chazie" and his R6 can not outrun Sam Lowes and his CBR600RR which drives at home! Ellison – and his equally “local” Honda – defends his third place against Salom’s Kawa ‘. In the third plan, Luca Scassa ends up doing the brakes on Marino and his Ten Kate.

In the 10th lap, Sam Lowes goes into the gravel! Davies thus finds himself alone in the lead with 2.5 seconds ahead of Salom who has just passed Ellison. Scassa is just over 5 seconds away, Marino is just over 7 seconds away and Roccoli is almost 10 seconds away..

Foret leads the peloton made up of South African Quarmby, Italians Iannuzzo and Tamburini, and Hungarian Nemeth. With nine laps to go, these five men are more than 15 seconds behind Davies and keep losing ground through brawling..

But Fabien must absolutely separate from his bulky pursuers to get back on Roccoli then Marino: Salom, installed in 2nd place on the track, is able to steal his 2nd place in the general classification from Foret. !

Dropped by Davies, Salom and Ellison are also fighting like ragpickers, which allows the No. 7 leader to "quietly" manage his lead. With six laps to go, however, James distances David and goes hunting for Chaz…

Relegated to 23 seconds behind Davies, Foret still battles with the peloton, but Tamburini has already taken the powder. Fabien is in 8th place and this will not be enough to keep his 2nd place in the championship. Russian Leonov even threatens Charentais !

With two laps to go, Davies is still 1.7 seconds ahead of Ellison. The latter does not succeed in reducing this gap and is soon attacked by the Ninja Salom! The last round is launched and Salom attempts a first unsuccessful attack.

The second is the right one: the # 44 ZX-6R took 2nd place from the # 44 CBR600RR and held it until under the checkered flag, which Davies had cleared a good second earlier. Luca Scassa finished 4th 5.5 sec behind his world champion teammate, Marino 5th over 21 seconds !

Chaz Davies ended his superb season with a sixth victory and a total of 206 points. David Salom takes advantage of his 20 additional points to win the "title" of vice-champion (156 pts) ahead of Fabien Foret (148), Broc Parkes (136) and Luca Scassa (134).


Second Superbike race

Jonathan Rea takes the lead again ahead of Marco Melandri, Eugene Laverty, Carlos Checa, Sylvain Guintoli, Noriyuki Haga, Leon Camier, Tom Sykes, Ayrton Badovini and Jakub Smrz. Max Biaggi got off to a good start and is in 11th position.

Laverty slips his R1 inside that of his teammate Melandri in the final curve of the first lap, then plunges it under the Fireblade of his compatriot Rea in the first corner of the second lap: the n ° 58 is therefore in the lead ahead Johnny, Marco, Carlos and Sylvain.

Noriyuki leads the peloton located one second from our national No. 50. Maxime Berger for his part, circulates in a distant 18th place, just behind Muggeridge and Fabrizio. Corser, who is in his last race – as a WSBK holder at least – fights in 14th position.

In front, Melandri in turn finds a way to pass in front of the Honda Castrol n ° 4. In the background, Ayrton Badovini’s BMW seizes 6th place occupied by Nitro Nori’s Aprilia. Camier’s official RSV4 is on the heels of n ° 41, closely followed by the ZX-10Rs of Sykes and Lascorz.

Jonathan Rea took advantage of a gap from Marco Melandri to climb back up to the second step of the podium but was passed back to the next pit straight. Eugene Laverty then has a small half second ahead of his pursuers.

While Checa and Guintoli are posted in 4th and 5th places behind the three furious, Biaggi spares no effort and goes up the peloton. But after having – easily – overtaken Haga to gain 9th place, the 2010 champion stumbles more on Lascorz !

It is in the 8th lap that Max finds the Ninja’s fault and resumes his ascent, lodged in the wheel of his teammate Camier. Guintoli, who is the next target of the two official Aprilia, is more than three seconds away. The Frenchie precisely does not quite manage to keep pace with his predecessors.

Applied, "Youdjin" Laverty could not prevent the comeback of his team-mate Marco Melandri, who replaced himself in his wake just before halfway. Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa are also on the lookout as Guinto ‘starts to be slightly behind

Ten laps from the end, the first seven drivers set up extremely close times, in the 1 ’44. Lascorz and Badovini, 8th and 9th respectively, give them half a second per lap and can no longer hope to integrate the Top 5.

Behind Joan and Ayrton, four men are fighting for 10th place: Tom Sykes, Noriyuki Haga, Jakub Smrz and Troy Corser. Maxime Berger rolls alone in 14th place, two seconds ahead of the new Superstock champion Davide Giugliano, invited to the WSBK championship final.

At the end of the 15th lap, Laverty, Melandri and Rea are still riding wheel to wheel, never hampered. Checa does the yoyo, losing and regaining a few lengths on the leading trio depending on the portions of the circuit but remains in contact, unlike Guintoli more behind.

Unable to keep up, Sykes plummeted in the standings and allowed Maxime Berger to reach 12th place in the 17th lap. The other Max – Biaggi – remains behind his teammate in 7th place, nearly six seconds behind Laverty.

The Irishman is holding on against Melandri, but he knows his teammate is always dangerous at the end of the race. Marco manages to overtake Eugene on the 19th lap! Jonathan tries his luck in the next loop, passes in front of Eugene but widens and leaves his compatriot his 2nd place.

Thanks to this attempt – and thanks to his right wrist! -, the n ° 33 is forging a lead of six tenths on the 58 and the 4 with two laps from the end. The n ° 7 – but "number one" of the WSBK 2011! – is caught by the n ° 50: can Guintoli go and get 4th place ?

Shortly before completing the penultimate lap, Jonathan Rea passed Eugene Laverty but the Yamaha rider emerged – as usual since the start of the race – much better from the last curve and resumed his place. Melandri, who did not ask for so much, now has a small second ahead !

The Hedgehog of Ravenna therefore wins his fourth race of the season – his first year in World Superbike as a reminder – and Eugene Laverty – also a rookie – offers the double to the official Yamaha team, who will no longer be present in the World next year….

Jonathan Rea completes the podium again at the controls of his Fireblade, ahead of the Ducati de Checa and Guintoli and the official Aprilia. The brand of Noale therefore loses against Yamaha in the constructors’ championship (429 points against 450), far behind Ducati and its 529 points !

As for the pilots, Checa’s counter finally shows 505 points: it is 110 points more than Melandri 2nd in the 2011 championship, but also 54 more than Biaggi during his coronation in 2010 (also out of 13 events), 43 of more than Spies in 2009 (14 events that year) and 45 more than Bayliss in 2008 (also 14 stages)…

Max Biaggi and Eugene Laverty finished 2011 with equal points (303), while Sylvain Guintoli finally took 6th place in the standings, stuck between two Leons: behind Haslam and just ahead of Camier. Maxime Berger is 16th in the final standings with 64 points, 23 points behind Vieux Croco Corser !


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