WSBK Italy: Checa double and Foret victory !
Carlos Checa proved imperial today at Imola: stuck in Tom Sykes’ wheel at the start of the two races, the 2011 champion easily won ahead of the English Ninja. Leon Haslam completes both podiums.
Carlos Checa proved imperial today at Imola: stuck in Tom Sykes’ wheel at the start of the two races, the 2011 champion easily won ahead of the English Ninja.
In Supersport, Fabien Foret won his 14th World Supersport victory and takes the helm of the 2012 championship. After Sylvain Barrier in Superstock 1000, the Marseillaise sounded twice at Imola! Well started, Cluzel unfortunately fell … Romain Lanusse scored his first points.
First Superbike race
Unlike Sylvain Guintoli, Tom Sykes got off to a good start, so Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi got ahead of our favorite n ° 50. Syl ‘is followed by Leon Haslam, Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri very incisive but dominated by the n ° 58. Behind, Camier and Alfonsi find themselves on the ground from the first lap…
Sykes prints his pace at the start of the race. Guintoli passed Biaggi in the last chicane but was immediately overtaken by the 2010 Champion. Haslam then climbed up to Guintoli’s level and attempted an attack in the next pif-paf…
The two men get out: Haslam gets out on the handlebars of his BMW but Sylvain falls while regaining the track on his 1198 … In the middle of a change of angle, Chaz Davies cannot avoid the Ducati n ° 50 on the ground and falls to his turn. Welshman will remember his first WSBK race…
The hunting party is scattered, Sykes and Checa isolated themselves in front of Biaggi. Laverty hangs on and tries to get back on his teammate, lets Jonathan Rea explain himself with his compatriot Leon Haslam. Further still, Marco Melandri enters the pits, missing the last chicane of the circuit.
Laverty gets lost in the chicane a lap later and passes Rea and Haslam. Zanetti is just behind the Irishman, Maxime Berger is a few lengths behind in 9th position. In the 4th lap, Leon and his BMW n ° 91 seize the 4th place occupied by Rea and his Honda n ° 65.
In front, Sykes pursues his circuit man. Checa wisely follows less than a second and Biaggi is three seconds behind. Haslam, Rea and Zanetti put on the show about 7 seconds behind the two leaders, while Laverty was suddenly dumped. Maxime Berger is 8th at more than 12 seconds.
The Italian rookie Lorenzo Zanetti has a superb race: without complex, the local of the stage doubles Jonathan Rea, winner last year but the victim of a nasty fall yesterday … "Youdjine" Laverty is three seconds behind the duo.
Sykes continues to lead at the halfway point but Checa does not leave him with a tire … Biaggi regularly gives way and can only aim for the podium. The Roman Emperor must however be wary of Leon Haslam, posted a small second from Aprilia n ° 3…
Meanwhile, Marco Melandri gives his audience a courageous comeback: the Ravenna Hedgehog is 9th and is now aiming for the Ducati n ° 121 of Maxime Berger, our only representative on the track. !
Checa goes on the attack 10 laps from the end, triggering the "cheers" of the Italian public. The Spaniard immediately raises the tone: despite its six additional kilograms (compared to 4-cylinders, read our), the Ducati clearly remains a terribly effective weapon !
Carlos sticks another second to Sykes and occasionally sets the new track record in the race. The signal of the reigning World Champion is perfectly clear: the victory is his…
Behind Sykes, the third step of the podium is played between Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam, two drivers who played for the title two years ago: on Aprilia already for Max, but on Suzuki at the time for Leon. The Italian quadra ‘fights like a lion, manhandles his Aprilia and stays in front of the "Pocket Rocket" n ° 91.
There are six laps to go and Carlos Checa parade in the lead with nearly three seconds ahead of Tom Sykes. Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam do not leave each other but fight more with their motorcycles and their tires than against each other! Zanetti and his Ducati are still racing in 5th position, 18 seconds behind No.7.
Five laps from the end, we finally witness a superb pass between Biaggi and Haslam! Behind also the battle rages: Zanetti and Laverty are wheel in wheel, while Melandri and Lascorz take the top on Rea. Maxime Berger is just a handful of seconds in 10th position.
Two laps later, the suspense remains for the acquisition of third place: Haslam fails to get rid of Biaggi. In front, Checa overtakes a Kawasaki: that of Salom, started again in the race despite his 5 laps in the pits! The last "regular" driver is Hiroshi Aoyama: rather worrying for the last GP 250 world champion and his 2012 Fireblade…
Carlos Checa easily won the first round of the World Superbike at Imola ahead of Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam. The two official Aprilia take the next two places (n ° 3 ahead of n ° 58), followed by Melandri’s BMW and Lascorz’s Kawa ‘.
Let us underline one last time the very good performance of Lorenzo Zanetti at home: a long time 5th in the race, the Italian rookie finally finished 8th in front of Jonathan Rea, Niccolo Canepa, Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger.
Sam Lowes is overtaken by Kenan Sofuoglu as soon as the red lights go out. Sheridan Morais took 3rd place, followed by our rookie Jules Cluzel and our expert Fabien Foret. Massimo Roccoli hoists his Yamaha to 5th place.
Hot boiling, Kenan gets lost in the chicane at the end of the first loop. He returned to the track in 5th place. In the next loop, the Turk is asked to make a pit passage … The race – to victory – is definitely buried for the Ninja n ° 54.
Installed in the lead, Lowes is placed out of reach of the potential attacks of his three pursuers who are Morais, Cluzel and Foret. The peloton is already relegated to more than four seconds: Iannuzo, Quarmby, Parkes, Toth, Tamburini and Roccoli happily animate this start of the race.
While Morais and ZX-6R put pressure on Lowes and his CBR600RR, Cluzel – on Honda as well – is momentarily left behind. Foret then decides to go beyond his – our! – young compatriot and picks up the lead wagon, his Jules on the buttocks.
Unfortunately in the final chicane of the 5th lap, n ° 16 lost the front end of his CBR600RR and had to abandon the race. The young French rooster will not be able to get on his first podium in Supersport … Fabien Foret on the contrary attacks with more vigor and climbs to 2nd place.
At the same time, a black flag is hoisted: Kenan Sofuoglu is officially disqualified from the race! In the lead, Morais in turn was lost when braking the chicane controlling the straight line. Destabilized by the South African‘s gap, Foret also messes up and allows Lowes to take control of the race.
Behind the leading trio, another South African stands out: Ronan Quarmby and his Honda are fighting against the first Italian on the track, Vittorio Iannuzzo on his Daytona 675. Sixth, Roberto Tamburini is 13 seconds behind Fabien Foret, back in the lead at the passage of the halfway point. Russian Vladimir Leonov battles third South African (!) Mathew Scholtz.
A second black flag is waved, this time for Scholtz. In front, Foret does not slow down because Sam Lowes is still in contact! The two men are more than five seconds ahead of Sheridan Morais, alone in 3rd position.
Our second driver on the track, Romain Lanusse, is 11th. Fabien’s young teammate continues his apprenticeship with two local children Luca Marconi and Alex Baldolini.
With four laps to go, Foret still controls Lowes. Far behind, Morais loses the front in the entrance to the chicane, scattering a few handfuls of gravel on the track just to complicate the task of his little comrades! Quarmby and his CBR therefore inherit third place, Iannuzzo and his Dayto ‘from 4th.
Lowes still does not let go and literally sticks his Honda # 11 to the backrest of Kawasaki # 99. The leading duo double without pitfall two latecomers and can continue their duel until the checkered flag … under which Fabien passes the first !
Thanks to this superb victory – and to the bubbles of Sofuoglu, Parkes and Cluzel! – the Kawa pilot ‘n ° 99 takes the lead in the championship. Foret has 45 points in the provisional and ahead of Lowes (31 points), Sofuoglu and Quarmby (25 each).
Congratulations to the passage Romain Lanusse who takes advantage of his second race to score 3 points in the World Supersport! Jules Cluzel, with his first 13 Australian points, occupies 9th place in the provisional.
Second Superbike race
Tom Sykes takes full advantage of his pole position and takes the lead in the race. Behind, a superb fight is established between the two champions (2010 and 2011) Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa! The Spaniard must achieve an authoritarian pass on the Italian to focus on his nemesis 66.
The action is also on the program within the hunting group composed of the RSV4 n ° 58 of Eugene Laverty, the S1000RR n ° 91 of Leon Haslam, the 1198 n ° 50 of Sylvain Guintoli, the BMW n ° 33 by Marco Melandri, Ducati n ° 34 by Davide Giugliano, ZX-10R n ° 17 by Joan Lascorz and 1198 (again!) N ° 96 by Jakub Smrz.
Also, the first third of the race is crossed in the blink of an eye! Tom Sykes escapes by setting the best time on the track – and in the race in general, breaking Checa‘s record set in the first round – ahead of Max Biaggi, Carlos Checa and Leon Haslam.
Checa passed Biaggi in the chicane but Max then Leon Haslam passed Carlos on acceleration! Checa took 3rd place from BMW n ° 91 on the following braking and had Aprilia n ° 3 a few turns later: Ducati n ° 7 set out again to attack the Kawa ‘n ° 66 !
Marco Melandri rolls in 5th position just ahead of Gianluca Giugliano, Eugene Laverty, Jakub Smrz and Niccolo Canepa. Jonathan Rea is 10th 12 seconds behind Tom Sykes. Maxime Berger and Sylvain Guintoli are respectively 14th and 15th at more than 15 seconds.
Halfway through the race, the pace of the Kawa ‘n ° 66 began to weaken in relation to its pursuers … Checa, rid of Biaggi and Haslam, wasted no time in coming back in contact with Sykes. We realize that the Spaniard can now drive much faster than the English.
Behind, Haslam overtook Biaggi and climbed to the third step of the podium: as in the first round! As always in the first race, Checa quickly passed Sykes. Tom will have to manage the rise of Haslam on his own. Biaggi no longer seems to represent a danger: Max rolls within a second of Leon and Tom.
About ten seconds later, Melandri plummeted in the standings: he was overtaken by a whole group of furious: Giugliano, Laverty, Rea, Smrz and Canepa drag the BMW n ° 33 to 10th position! But a second group made up of Zanetti, Camier, Lascorz, Berger and Guintoli is not far from Marco, in distress…
In front, Carlos Checa flies over the debates: with four laps to go, the Ducati rider – naturally supported by the transalpine public! – has a lead of more than two seconds. Leon Haslam still cannot find the opening on his compatriot Tom Sykes … Max Biaggi remains a few lengths away, on the lookout for the slightest gap !
On the 19th lap, Niccolo Canepa loses the front in the middle of a chicane and almost mows down his little comrades in the peloton! Fortunately, the Italian gets up without any injuries while his Ducati slips on the track without causing further damage..
In the final loop, the courageous Haslam released the pressure and let Sykes slip away to a second 2nd place this Sunday at Imola. Leon cannot completely relax, however, as Max roars his V4 a few meters from him and accompanies him to the finish line. !
Carlos Checa wins the double almost "at home", since at Ducati! The reigning world champion takes the lead in the provisional classification at the end of this second round: Carlos totals 75 points, against 71 for Biaggi, 69 for Sykes, 47 for Haslam and 46 for Melandri. Our two French Guintoli and Berger close the Top 10.
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