Tag Archives: Max Biaggi

SBK: Eugene Laverty lays down the law in Monza

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.

Marco Melandri was also on flying form in the hot temperatures the historic track in Monza had to offer. The Italian completed the first race of the day in fourth position just missing out on a podium by 0.009 of a second. In race two, a good start off fifth position on the grid saw Melandri push up to third place by lap seven. The determined Italian gradually closed in on fellow contenders ahead, until mid race when the leader, Biaggi made a mistake at the first chicane resulting in a ride through penalty by the race direction. This gave Melandri the lead on the 14th lap. The final laps of the adrenalin filled second race saw the two Yamaha World Superbike riders battling it out for the win. Melandri completed the race crossing the finish line in second place, while Laverty just beat him by three tenths of a second. Both Yamaha riders, Melandri and Laverty, scored the fastest speed of the second race reaching a high of 333Km/h.

Eugene Laverty leaves Monza with a total of 85 points having jumped up from ninth to sixth place in the Championship standings after today’s impressive performance. Marco Melandri is now sitting second in the classification with 118 points, just 27 points behind the current leader, Carlos Checa.

Eugene Laverty – Yamaha World Superbike Team – 1st, 1st
“I can’t believe I got a double victory today. I came here aiming for a podium and now I’m coming away with two incredible race wins. It’s fantastic. I didn’t get off to a good start in the second race. I had to avoid a collision on the first corner, causing me to lose time. I also struggled a little with the tyres in the hot conditions. When it came to the last few laps, I couldn’t believe my luck that it was just me and Marco in the lead. This double victory was particularly special to me, being the team’s home track.”

WSBK at Donington

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.

In the Supersport class, Luca Scassa, riding for Yamaha ParkinGO, secured a second win this season, leading the championship with maximum number of points. He battled the whole weekend of practicing and qualifying with local riders Sam Lowes on Honda and teammate Chaz Davies, with Lowes retiring after twelve laps in the race and Davies catching second place with only 0.270 seconds behind Scassa.

In Superbike Championship, number one rider is Carlos Checa with 91 points after four races, followed by Marco Melandri with 72 and Leon Haslam with 53 points.

Supersport championship is led by Luca Scassa with maximum 50 points after two races. Following him are Broc Parkes on second with 31 points and Robbin Harmes on third with 24 points.

Next round is Assen, Netherlands, on April 17th.




MotoGP: Valentino Rossi fires the first shot in the Psychological battle of the season

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.

An excerpt taken from the show and transcribed by Sportmediaset.com sees Rossi call former FIAT Yamaha team-mate ‘unpleasant’, while Stoner – though the favourite in Rossi’s eyes – is let down by often ‘repeating the same mistakes’.

“Stoner is the favourite for the championship, but I also say that to bring a jinx on him,” he jokes. “I give him 10 out of 10 for speed and talent, but a bit less for tactics and cunning. He is a mad man who often repeats the same mistake.

“Jorge is a great because everybody agrees about him in the sense that everybody thinks he is unpleasant. He is strong, he deserves 9.5. I won’t say he is intelligent because that’s a strong word. Let’s say he is crafty.”

Rossi also touches upon his Ducati team-mate Nicky Hayden, revealing there will not be a return of the infamous ‘wall’ that split himself and Lorenzo in the Yamaha pit garage.

“Hayden is strong, he deserves an 8. He is my team-mate and therefore is my first rival. The wall? With Hayden there won’t be one, whereas there was with Lorenzo because I was hoping to not teach him all of my tricks. That is something that generated so much controversy, but things passed from one side to the other anyway.

Marco Simoncelli deserves 8.5,” he says moving on to his friend. “He still needs to show more, but he has a very quick Honda and he will certainly be a thorn in my side.”

Finally, Rossi harks back to his bitter rivalry with countryman Max Biaggi, claiming the reigning World Superbike Champion didn’t learn how to deal with defeat.

“I look back on those fights with fondness,” he adds. “Away from the track, he used various tricks to try and destabilise me. Knowing how to lose is one of the most difficult things and Biaggi was never very good at that.”

Source | Crash.net

SBK: Checa Doubles up at the Island, Melandri Scores Rookie First Podium – Videos

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.

A perfect start to his and Althea Ducati’s season, it marks the Spaniard’s sixth and seventh wins in World Superbikes, as well as his third weekend double.

Though he was beaten into the first corner once again, this time by Leon Haslam, Checa found himself in front by the end of the opening lap with an aggressive pass at MG. Superior straight line speed would see the BMW back in front at the start of lap two, but Checa would simply bide his time before easing back in front on lap three.

Quickly pulling away from the chasing pack, although his 1.1secs advantage at the finish looks fairly meagre on paper, there was never a doubt as to whom would emerge victorious.

With Checa holding station at the front, it was the fight for second between former MotoGP rivals Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri that did the job of enthralling spectators.

Having enjoyed a fairly lonely run to second in race one, Biaggi had plenty of company during race two as a poor start necessitated a determined fight back from seventh.

Battling past the BMWs of Haslam and Troy Corser, Biaggi would take Melandri with him, the pair swiftly breaking away to form their own podium battle. What followed was an entertaining exchange that evoked memories of their time in MotoGP, the Italians swapping positions continuously over the second-half of the race.

While Melandri seemingly had the measure of Biaggi through the bends, he would repeatedly see his efforts undone by his rival’s ability to simply draft pass on the home straight.

It was the advantage Biaggi needed to stay ahead at the chequered flag, the reigning champion completing his second podium appearance of the day to notch up a total of 40 points.

Despite losing out to Biaggi, Melandri’s can still be satisfied with a mightily impressive WSBK debut, one that suggests he will be amongst those to make a successful transition from MotoGP to Superbike racing.

Further back, Jonathan Rea bounced back from his race one disappointment to take a deserved fourth position, the Castrol Honda rider catching and passing Haslam on the final lap.

Having run at the front of the field early on, it was a frustrating race for BMW, with Haslam fading to fifth eventually, while Corser ruined his chances of a good result by running off the circuit whilst disputing second.

The same can be said for Eugene Laverty, who was up with Melandri in fifth place when he ran wide at MG and was forced to take a trip across the grass. He would recover to 15th to claim a single point.

An astonishing ride by Leon Camier would see him defy illness to finish in sixth position, the Aprilia rider even making up two places on the final lap at the expense of Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga.

Tom Sykes completed a second top ten finish of the day in ninth, but his Kawasaki team-mate Joan Lascorz comes away with a double DNF following a technical issue.

Having finished outside the points in race one, Ruben Xaus sneaked into the top ten aboard the second Castrol Honda, ahead of Jakub Smrz, Roberto Rolfo and Josh Waters, while James Toseland slipped to an eventual 14th having run as high as tenth initially.

2011 World Superbike Phillip Island Race 1 – 22 Laps
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 34’16.503
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0’04.365
3 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 0’10.719
4 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 0’11.266
5 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 0’11.293
6 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 0’12.039
7 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’20.294
8 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 0’20.742
9 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 0’22.421
10 Troy Corser BMW AUS 0’25.822
11 Roberto Rolfo Kawasaki ITA 0’29.270
12 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’31.059
13 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0’31.721
14 Ayrton Badovini BMW ITA 0’36.389
15 Bryan Staring Kawasaki AUS 0’36.470

2011 Phillip Island Race 1 Highlight Video

2011 World Superbike Phillip Island Race 2 – 22 Laps
Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 34’15.041
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 0’01.188
3 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 0’01.406
4 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 0’10.563
5 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 0’10.885
6 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 0’16.914
7 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 0’17.558
8 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 0’17.679
9 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 0’18.070
10 Ruben Xaus Honda ESP 0’19.053
11 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 0’19.060
12 Roberto Rolfo Kawasaki ITA 0’23.771
13 Josh Waters Suzuki AUS 0’23.956
14 James Toseland BMW GBR 0’28.713
15 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 0’32.673

2011 Phillip Island Race 2 Highlight Video

Source | Crash.net

SBK: Carlos Checa Continues Strong Form be Securing Phillip Island Pole Position

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.

With Checa aborting his first fast lap, there looked to be the distinct possibility that the reigning champion would cause an ‘upset’. However, despite being down on his rival during the early sectors, Checa hauled it back to nose ahead by less than two hundredths of a second.

Though it was markedly slower than the 1min 30.578secs he managed during testing earlier in the week, Checa Superpole effort of 1min 30.882secs was still sufficient to slice two tenths off Regis Laconi’s two year-old record.

Almost four tenths back, Effenbert-Liberty Ducati scored a front row start for its WSBK debut thanks to Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman maintaining his strong form so far this weekend to put himself in a strong position to record an elusive maiden WSBK podium.

Having suffered with set-up issues in testing, BMW put on a show of strength in Superpole as both Leon Haslam and Troy Corser defied expectations to reach SP3. Haslam would go on to secure a front row start on his BMW debut in fourth position, while local favourite Corser – who holds the race record around Phillip Island – is seventh.

There were also smiles in the Yamaha camp as Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri quickly adapted to the ‘alien’ Superpole format to claim fifth and eighth respectively. An excellent result for Laverty ahead of his WSBK debut, Melandri’s performance was also noteworthy having very nearly been bundled out during SP1.

Jakub Smrz will join the pair on row two in sixth position, the Czech rider doing a mighty job to even make it into SP3 just minutes earlier in SP2.

There was less luck for Jonathan Rea however, whose bruising week continued in the same vein during Superpole. The Castrol Honda rider fell at the final bend during SP2, badly damaging his number one bike.

Though he did rush back to the pit lane in time to jump on the spare machine, Rea one-shot lap at the death wasn’t enough to lift him any higher than 12th position.

He will be joined on the third row by Michel Fabrizio in ninth position, Tom Sykes in tenth, the Kawasaki man unable to repeat his run to third during Q2, and Josh Waters in 11th on the wild-card Yoshimura Suzuki.

Earlier on in the session, there was further disappointment for Kawasaki as Joan Lascorz’s first Superpole appearance proved a disappointing experience when he was bumped out of contention during SP1, leaving him 13th on the grid for his WSBK debut.

He was joined in the drop zone by Noriyuki Haga, James Toseland and Ruben Xaus, who will start Sunday’s two races in 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.

2011 Phillip Island Superpole Results

1 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1’30.882
2 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1’30.895
3 Sylvain Guintoli Ducati FRA 1’31.293
4 Leon Haslam BMW GBR 1’31.429
5 Eugene Laverty Yamaha GBR 1’31.858
6 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1’31.980
7 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1’32.182
8 Marco Melandri Yamaha ITA 1’32.662
9 Michel Fabrizio Suzuki ITA 1’32.153
10 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1’32.204
11 Josh Waters Suzuki AUS 1’32.240
12 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1’32.708
13 Joan Lascorz Kawasaki ESP 1’32.346
14 Noriyuki Haga Aprilia JPN 1’32.391
15 James Toseland BMW GBR 1’32.54


Source | Crash.net