WSBK United States: Carlos Checa misses the double !
After seeing him brilliantly win in the first round, it was difficult to see who could deprive Carlos Checa of the double at Miller … And yet, we did not have to look very far: the Spaniard made a mistake on his own !
After seeing him brilliantly win in the first round, it was difficult to see who could deprive Carlos Checa of the double at Miller…
First Superbike race
Carlos Checa started much better than poleman Jakub Smrz, but it was Tom Sykes who scored his Kawasaki in the lead in the first corner! The English Ninja leads ahead of Checa, Melandri, Rea, Smrz, Davies, Biaggi, Giugliano, Haslam and Laverty.
After a relatively calm first lap, Marco Melandri dislocated Carlos Checa at the end of the straight line and climbed to second position. Jonathan Rea immediately wedges in the wheel of Ducati n ° 7 while Tom Sykes escapes slightly in the lead.
Leon Haslam and his BMW n ° 91 are at the back of the leading car, in ninth position. Laverty and his Aprilia n ° 58 are the most turbulent at the start of the race and are trying to pull together the same peloton. Maxime Berger is 11th, Loris Baz 14th and Guintoli only 16th…
In the 3rd lap, Sykes still sets the pace, Melandri delays while Checa seems to get impatient in the winding sections. In the long straight, however, Checa was less comfortable: he was also passed by Rea at the start of the fourth lap..
A handful of seconds later, Eugene Laverty got carried away and had to widen in the first curve. The Irishman does not lose any place but lets slip his target: Jakub Smrz !
Carlos Checa returns to third position in the 4th loop and presses Marco Melandri again. The latter ends up overtaking Sykes at the end of the straight line! Max Biaggi, who undoubtedly abused the aspiration of his predecessors and almost goes off the track: Aprilia are really healthy !
Checa doubles Sykes in a curve on the next lap, Rea takes the opportunity to pass the ZX-10R in the same bend and Biaggi takes advantage of this double attack to overtake Sykes a few bends further! And it’s not over: Laverty doubles Smrz and takes on the Kawasaki which has just lost three places in a single lap !
At the back of the first group, Smrz, Davies and Haslam remain on the lookout. Fabrizio is already five seconds behind Melandri, and two seconds ahead of the second group consisting of Giugliano, Badovini, Camier, Berger, Guintoli, Baz and Zanetti.
However much slower in the straights, Carlos (300 km / h maximum) does not let go of the wheel of BMW n ° 33 (timed at 319.2 km / h!). Behind, Biaggi continues to put pressure on Rea. Laverty is a few lengths ahead of Sykes and Smrz.
Thanks to an exemplary attack on the brakes, Checa took control on the 7th lap! The twin-cylinder 1198 Ducati gradually released the three 4-cylinders placed behind it in the series of beautiful American curves. The advance of Toro n ° 7 proves sufficient at the exit of the last curve "Release" not to be joined at the end of the straight line..
At this precise moment, Marco Melandri is just over half a second, Jonathan Rea and Max Biaggi are still riding in tight formation at a big second. After Niccolo Canepa, it’s John Hopkins’ turn to make mistakes. The Anglo-American gets up without a sore, no more sores than he had before falling anyway…
Checa still leads halfway through the race, Melandri hangs on, and Rea has to brake late and hard at the end of the straight line to avoid being passed by Biaggi and his Aprilia n ° 3! The n ° 58 is more than two seconds behind the Roman Emperor and is ahead of the Ducati n ° 96 and the Kawasaki n ° 66.
Haslam circulates in eighth position but remains threatened by Davies and Fabrizio. Zanetti made a mistake when he occupied a distant 17th place behind Baz and ahead of Aoyama. Ducati fans keep smiling: in addition to the domination of King Checa, they are delighted with the animation that Smrz provides by chasing the Aprilia de Laverty.
Carlos Checa keeps his second and a half ahead and still impresses as much: Miller is definitely his circuit! Despite the six extra kilograms of his Ducati (compared to last year), the n ° 7 remains impossible to follow. Even Melandri and his S1000RR seem unable to fight back … or maybe they are waiting for the last laps ?
At the start of the 16th lap, Biaggi managed to brake Rea at the end of the straight line and thus climbed on the podium. Biaggi then points to 2.5 seconds from Melandri and 3.7 seconds from Checa. Laverty is six seconds behind his teammate and still holds Smrz in check. Sykes is isolated in 7th position.
While there are still three laps to go, Melandri is less than a second from Checa! Warned of the Italian’s comeback, the Spaniard increased his pace in the next loop and recovered his good second ahead! The fight for the third step of the podium, however, is spiced up.
Rea ends up in Biaggi’s aspi at the start of the final loop. Applied, Johnny finds himself in the backsplash of Mad Max in the final curves of the circuit … While Checa tumbles under the checkered flag, followed more than two seconds by Melandri, Rea sticks his helmet one last on the tank of his Fireblade, opens wide … and fails less than two tenths of the podium completed by Biaggi therefore.
Eugene Laverty finished in 5th position over 12 seconds, closely followed by Jakub Smrz. Chaz Davies secures a nice 7th place at the controls of his private Aprilia, but is almost 20 seconds behind the Spanish winner !
Tom Sykes has to be content with 8th place … and has a few hours to review the settings of his machine before the second round! On the French side, Sylvain Guintoli finished in a disappointing 12th place, Loris Baz scored the last point of 15th place, preceding Maxime Berger.
Second Superbike race
Jakub Smrz once again takes a more timid start than his rivals on the front row: Carlos Checa and Tom Sykes go neck to neck but Marco Melandri takes the lead, immediately overtaken by Tom Sykes! Behind the Kawasaki n ° 66 and the BMW n ° 33 are the Ducati n ° 7, 96 and 34, the Honda n ° 65, ‘Aprilia n ° 3, the BMW n ° 91, the other official Aprilia n ° 58 and Ducati n ° 50 from our national Guintoli.
At the end of the first lap, Smrz cannot resist the superior top speeds of Biaggi, Rea and Giugliano lodged in their suction! But the Czech climbs back to 6th place thanks to the long stretches of the American circuit.
In front, Carlos Checa overtook Marco Melandri and quickly joined Tom Sykes at the head of the race. Behind Melandri, Rea lets the two Ducati 1198s of Smrz and Giugliano explain themselves with the two Aprilia RSV4s of Biaggi and Laverty…
Checa takes the lead from the third loop. The Spaniard quickly started to take off while Melandri ran into Sykes for the remainder of the lap. Smrz is in fourth position and is several lengths ahead of the strongly dissipated hunting group, composed of Rea, Biaggi, Laverty, Giugliano and Laverty.
Far behind, we see that Aoyama has just fallen into the Attitude chicane. His Fireblade tasted strongly and forced the marshals to hoist the red flag to clean the track! A second start must therefore be given for 18 laps. The grid resumes the running order of the last completed lap…
Second start: Installed in pole position, Checa was overtaken at the end of the starting sprint by Melandri and Sykes. However, the Spaniard jumped into second place from the second corner. Chaz Davies and his private Aprilia have also started very well and in particular dominate the two official Aprilia !
Checa took the lead in the second lap and again tried to give his little comrades a little company. No.7 is followed by Melandri, Sykes, Davies, Rea, Giugliano, Laverty, Biaggi, Haslam and Smrz. Guintoli is 12th behind Camier, Baz 15th and Berger 17th.
Welshman Davies climbs onto the podium, overtaking Englishman Sykes! Their compatriot Johnny Rea follows the battle with interest but is careful not to get involved for the moment. The Italian Giugliano remains glued to the Fireblade but cannot resist Biaggi during the 5th passage in front of the pits.
While Carlos Checa is almost two seconds ahead of Marco Melandri, Chaz Davies is holding on in 3rd position. Jonathan Rea brakes Sykes at the start of the 7th lap and takes fourth … third place, since Checa has just crashed !
The BMW n ° 33 thus inherits the lead of the race ahead of Aprilia of Davies, Honda of Rea, Kawasaki of Sykes and Aprilia of Biaggi. While Rea and Davies cross swords on the track, Checa returns to the pits disappointed … For the first time in Miller, the winner of the first round misses the double !
Rid of Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea swoops in on Marco Melandri. Max Biaggi is less than a second behind the leading trio and has two seconds ahead of his pursuers (Sykes, Laverty, Giugliano and Haslam). Having remained two laps in the pits, Checa takes back the track although the first point of 15th place is out of reach…
Eight laps from the end, Biaggi has returned to contact with the leading men and the new quartet begins to activate: after Rea, the Supersport world champion Chaz Davies overtakes Melandri! Biaggi in turn attempts an attack at the start of the curve, passes in front of his compatriot but comes out of the turn still fourth.
In front, Jonathan increased the pace and gained a lead of over a second at the end of the twelfth lap! The BMW n ° 33 takes advantage of the long straight – and its impressive stride! – to overtake Aprilia n ° 19, now threatened by the official n ° 3. Guintoli is in 10th place, Baz 14th and Berger 15th.
Marco produced his effort and managed to close the gap between him and leader Johnny: four laps before the checkered flag was lowered, the S1000RR found the Fireblade aspi ‘… Two short seconds behind, Davies and his RSV4 private continues to hold its own in Biaggi and its factory RSV4.
The battle for fifth place pits the No.66 English Ninja against the No.58 Aprilia Leprechaun. The fight for 7th place is even more animated between Giugliano, Haslam, Smrz and Guintoli. But the most beautiful fight at the end of the race, the spectators owe it to the two pilots Aprilia Davies and Biaggi !
After some nice exchanges, Pirate Biaggi finally climbs to third position. Two laps from the end, Max sounds the final charge when he is a little less than two seconds behind Marco … But the latter has resources !
Melandri started the last lap, passing Rea at the end of the straight. The n ° 65 remains in the wheel of the Italian and has a final loop to regain the advantage. Very comfortable in slow sections, the Honda rider is worn several times at the rear wheel of the BMW, but cannot compete in the revivals….
Marco Melandri therefore wins Miller’s second round, synonymous with BMW’s second victory in World SBK! Jonathan Rea follows him to the finish line, which Max Biaggi crosses two seconds later. Chaz Davies can be as satisfied as the men on the final podium: he signs his best result in the Superbike category with panache !
For his part, Sykes can be satisfied with having beaten Laverty because he keeps his place in the championship thanks to this: Tom has 142.5 points, which is as much as Marco Melandri, second behind the leader Max Biaggi (160.5 pts). Carlos Checa on the other hand slips to 5th place behind Jonathan Rea (respectively 141 and 130.5).
On the constructors’ side, Ducati retains the lead in the provisional with 195.5 points, ahead of BMW (176), Aprilai (171), Kawasaki (148.5), Honda (145) and Suzuki (48.5). Next meeting: in two weeks in Misano … Stay tuned !
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