Monza always showcases some of the most exciting racing on the World Supebike calendar. Well again the famous circuit lived up to its reputation.
World Superbike Rookie, Eugene Laverty, put on a sensational display of race craft today to take a well earned double victory on his team’s home track in Monza. Today’s success signified not only Laverty’s maiden win but also his first podium finish to date in the 2011 World Superbike Championship.
Laverty got off to a perfect start from second position on the grid to immediately take the lead in race one. The World Superbike rookie temporarily surrendered the lead in lap six on entering the “ Prima Variante” but hastened to repossess first place on exiting the “Biassono curve”, leaving Max Biaggi second. Race two saw a masterful display of race craft. Laverty initially fell back to ninth position after encountering a three rider collision in the early stages of the first lap. Putting his head down, he got straight to work, making his way through the bunch of riders ahead to sit behind team-mate Melandri until the final lap where he snatched the chequered flag.
Plenty to see over at Donington this weekend. After two days of practicing and qualifying, Carlos Checa started the Sunday superbike race from the pole position. At first battling WSBK newcomer Marco Melandri on Yamaha and last year’s champion Max Biaggi on Aprilia through the first Free Practice and Qualifying 1 and 2, continuing the lap times battle with local boys Leon Haslam on BMW and Tom Sykes on Kawasaki through second Free Practice and Superpoles. Although being the favorite for winning the Donington round altogether, Checa only managed to win the second race, with first race won by Marco Melandri. An incident involving Max Biaggi occurred during the second race when, unknowingly or not, Max failed to make a ride-through penalty after jumping the start of the second race. He was then blackflagged, leaving him only with the seventh place from the first race.
Valentino Rossi has given a frank account as to what he thinks of his main MotoGP rivals heading into this season’s championship, most notably arch-nemesis’ Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.
Rossi, who is gearing up for his race debut with Ducati in less than two weeks time at Losail, has been doing the media rounds in his home country to celebrate the two Italian ‘motorcycling institutions’ coming together for the first time.
However, it is his interview with talk show host Piero Chiambretti, which is set to be broadcast in Italy on Friday, that is likely to garner much attention, not least for comments made about certain rivals.
Checa shows Ducati’s factory absence is not affecting him or his Althea Racing team as he claims a second win of the day in Australia.
Carlos Checa comes away from the opening round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship with a maximum haul of 50 points after completing his second win of the day at Phillip Island.
Having cruised to a dominant victory in race one, Checa was similarly commanding in race two, making a definitive pass for the lead on lap three before stretching away to win.
Carlos Checa comes up against his strongest opposition during Superpole, but does just enough to secure a third career WSBK pole position.
Carlos Checa has claimed the first Superpole of the 2011 World Superbike season, albeit by just 0.013secs from Max Biaggi.
The Spaniard has utterly dominated the Australian curtain raiser thus far, but came remarkably close to being toppled by a charging Biaggi, the Italian getting nearest to his former MotoGP rival than any other rider so far.
Indeed, while Checa was comfortably quickest during SP1 and SP2, it was Biaggi that laid down the gauntlet in the deciding session with a lap record breaking 1min 30.895secs.