Tag Archives: Max Biaggi

SBK: Jonathan Rea Goes Double Dutch Sweeping Weekend at Assen

The venerable Assen circuit has seen many moments of drama but the latest 4.542km version delivered two Superbike World Championship races today that were right up there with the very best. The local fans enjoyed two partial home wins as well, as Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea was victorious in each 22-lap race, riding for a squad based in the Netherlands. He had to work hard on a sunny afternoon in Holland to make sure he headed up two podiums ceremonies that featured British riders in each and every place for the first time since 2003.

RACE ONE: Rea won a close opening race at Assen with two strong laps right at the end, finishing one second ahead of fellow Britons James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia). This was Camier’s first SBK podium finish, and it was memorable one. Slow-starting Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) was a good fourth, with the BMW of Troy Corser fifth, having led for much of the race. Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki), the championship leader, struggled to 11th with a partial puncture. Suzuki, Ducati, Aprilia and now Honda machines have all won races in WSB so far this year.

RACE TWO: The last double win for Honda happened in the UK in 2008 but today Jonathan Rea took a double on his CBR1000RR in the Netherlands, by winning race two by 1.942 seconds. The extent of his final victory did not do justice to the second combative race of the day, with the top six or seven riders frequently riding and fighting as one. Haslam overcame his race one troubles to go second. Third was James Toseland to give the second all British podium of the day. Max Biaggi was a strong fourth, Troy Corser fifth, after another classic race at the classic circuit of Assen. Sixth came Phillip Island race winner Carlos Checa on his Althea Ducati, only just ahead of another Ducati privateer, Pata B&G racing rider Jakub Smrz.

Jonathan Rea: “It has been great and I could not have done this without my team. They gave me a fantastic bike. We changed the balance of the bike for this weekend and made it more comfortable. Both races are probably the smartest races I have ever ridden. I never got frustrated in traffic and when it was time to pull the pin I did. I am really happy with the double. It was a clean sweep, so I am proud as punch and I cannot wait to take this result on. I will savour the moment.”

James Toseland: “To come from tenth on the grid to take a second and a third was a great result for the team and myself. It has been coming slowly but it was nice to get two consistent podium results. I said before the season started there could be some British 1-2-3 results, and there are a lot of British riders out there. But we are all running up the front and doing a fantastic job, so we deserve to be there. It is great for the fans in the UK and I am sure we are all looking forward to Silverstone.”

Leon Camier: “It was a bit hotter today than the previous days so we were moving around a bit, but it was awesome to get a result for Aprilia. They have put a lot of effort into me, and good faith. It is gradually coming together, and now we are getting some good results.”

Leon Haslam: “Race one was definitely the hardest race I have ever had, battling against a puncture, bit it is just one of those things. To get back on the podium in race two was great. I had a really great battle with Johnny and it was really good. There was a bit of argy-bargy out there and it was disappointing not to challenge in the last couple of laps. But, my second place extended my championship lead again, so it’s all good.”

HASLAM EXTENDS ADVANTAGE AS REA MOVES UP: In the points table Haslam now has 148, Biaggi 128, Rea 110 and Carlos Checa 103. Rea doubled his career win total to four today, and in going third overall renewed a championship challenge that was waning after some recent disappointing results. Rea left Assen with the Superpole win, the new lap record of 1’36.312 (set in race two) and two wins. He now has his sights firmly set on Monza for the next round, on May 9.

BMW JOIN THE PARTY FOR REAL: Troy Corser could not quite get to the fourth place he scored in Valencia at the previous round but this weekend’s two fifth places were even more impressive rides, particularly when added to the fact that Corser topped combined qualifying, and was third fastest in Superpole on Saturday. Corser is now overall seventh, on 68 points. Ruben Xaus fell in race one but got a top ten in race two on the other factory BMW.

HAGA AND FABRIZIO TOIL IN THE SUN: A troubled time for the official Ducati team continued at Assen, as Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) retired in race two, and was only 11th in race one. His team-mate Michel Fabrizio scored in each race, 13th and 12th respectively. Checa was the highest placed Ducati rider today, fourth in the opener.

SBK: Leon Haslam and Noriyuki Haga Split Wins at Valencia

Two action-packed races held under clear Spanish skies saw two different winners make their mark, Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) in race one and Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) in race two. The races could not have been more different, with Haslam a clear leader in an uninterrupted contest, while Haga won an aggregate race two by only 0.025 seconds. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) scored two podiums today, while James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) also put in top three rides.

Leon Haslam had a comfortable win in the end, after early leader Carlos Checa went out with a technical problem, and Max Biaggi could not make up the ground to get back into winning contention. James Toseland’s return to WSB in 2010 was marked by his first podium on his Sterilgarda Yamaha four, while BMW Motorrad Motorsport earned a great fourth place with Troy Corser, the highest ever SBK place for the team since entering WSBK last year. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) fought through to fifth, but could not pass Corser in the final laps.

Haga secured his first race win of 2010 after a tense fight with second place rider Checa and Biaggi. A two part aggregate race was required after a crash on lap four of the first heat brought out the red flags. Simon Andrews and Vittorio Iannuzzo both had heavy falls at high speed on the start/finish straight, but two fractures to Andrews’s left foot and heel were the final result. The total time from the first three laps, and the time from a second heat of 20-laps were combined to find the final results. The margin of victory in the two-part race was 0.025 seconds between Haga and Checa, with Biaggi only 0.0299 from the win, in third place.

In the championship, Leon Haslam’s fourth in the second of today’s races gives him 123 points to Biaggi’s 105 and Checa’s 80. Haga is on 79 points, in fourth place. After a sixth and fifth today, Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) is now fifth on 60 points, while Toseland and Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) are tied on 50 points. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) had two no-scores leaving him eighth on the same 46 points as the ever-improving BMW of Troy Corser. Leon Camier led race two for Aprilia but fell for the second time today, scoring no points. Kawasaki Racing Team rider Tom Sykes went 11th and 15th, now sitting in 16th place overall.

Leon Haslam: “To make the break was a bit of a surprise, because I felt we could race the other guys, but for sure it would be a big battle to the end. But when I got to the lead I saw the lap times I was doing were not so great and I knew that Max and the others guys could go quicker, it had been proven. But I kept my rhythm and when I saw a small gap behind I pushed again and the gap became bigger and bigger. It’s great to win another race and leave with the championship lead.”

Noriyuki Haga: “I like Valencia a lot. I am Mr Valencia! Before the red flag in race two I made a good start and was in fifth position. In the restart I started from fifth and I kept a good pace. It was not easy to catch and pass the top two riders but in the last few laps I pushed hard and took the win. I was not thinking about the time difference I just knew I had to go at the front.”

Max Biaggi: “We had a very nice race in race two, just like the first one. The temperature went up a lot in the second race, which meant that the grip went down. Nori and Carlos were in front of me in race two and they deserved their places. I could not follow Haga in the last two laps because he was very fast but second and third at Valencia are two good results.”

Carlos Checa: “It was a good weekend; if not the first race then the second one, when I was battling right to the end. I thought I could control the second part of race two by sitting behind Max but then Nori arrived and broke up the group. I tried to catch him at the end but I could not make up the difference. Anyway I think it was a good result.”

James Toseland: “I think Max was slightly faster than me after half race distance in race one, but I was stronger where you can pass another rider, and that made it difficult for him to overtake. Once he did get past, he helped me take a couple of tenths of a second from my lap times and I kept ahead of Corser and Haga. I couldn’t do any more but we are getting better all the time.”

SBK: Cal Crutchlow Takes Second Superpole of the Year at Valencia

Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) took his second Superpole of the year for Yamaha with a 1’33.615 at Valencia, leading a front row that will comprise of Cal, Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati), Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) and Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare).

Checa had been even faster around the 4.005km circuit today than Crutchlow was in Superpole 2, but not in the final Superpole session when the final grid places were determined, leaving Carlos second overall.

Crutchlow had set pole at the previous round in Portugal but this one was maybe even more of a surprise, as he had only been 15th in regular qualifying before Superpole started.

The second row will be headed by Troy Corser on his BMW Motorrad Motorsport S1000RR, the best Superpole qualifying result for the German manufacturer in WSBK. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare), Jonathan Rea (HANNspree ten Kate Honda) and Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX Ducati) were ranged out behind Corser, with Lanzi crashing in the final section of Superpole, and sticking in eighth place. The top seven places featured machines from six of the championship’s seven manufacturers, after a day of incredibly close competition for grid spots.


An intense Superpole 2 session saw some big names out of the final session, notably both factory Ducati riders, Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio, who went tenth and 11th respectively.

James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) missed Superpole three by one thousandth of a second, and starts ninth.

Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) had a major issue in Superpole 2 and had to pull off the track in a plume of smoke.

Michel Fabrizio set the fastest time in Superpole 1, the Suzukis of Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli close behind him. The first four riders to miss the Superpole cut proved to Sheridan Morais, Andrew Pitt, Tom Sykes and Ruben Xaus, with Xaus 17th and only missing out on a higher starting place by one thousandth of a second.

Max Biaggi (Alitalia Aprilia) was the fastest man in the final regulation qualifying session, beating Carlos Checa (Ducati Althea) to second place by only 0.002 seconds. The provisional front row was the same as the first day, with Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) and Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) third and fourth. Fifth place went to Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki), with the top five separated by only 0.068 seconds. A remarkable 11 riders in total went within 0.258 seconds of each other in combined qualifying, and 18 riders were covered by a single second.

Cal Crutchlow: “I hope when we get to Silverstone I will have a reception like Carlos had here! We had a lot of pole positions in Supersport and had one here last year, so to come again and do it on the Superbike is really good. I feel we could have been quicker, but that is just me. If someone gets away at the front we could be in trouble so if we keep it a close race it should be good.”

Carlos Checa: “It is fantastic to be here in front of a home race crowd especially with the performance of this year, because I am feeling very strong with this bike. I really like this track and I hope to make a good race weekend. We worked quite well in practice and the bike works here. We are on the pace with the other people and it will be a very close race, I believe.”

Max Biaggi: “I feel good on the bike and Portimao was a good race for us last time out. I was happier for the team than myself. Back in Valencia we have not such good memories of last year but in the winter test we were pretty good, and now we are quite consistent with out lap times. Front row was the real goal because at this track it is very difficult to overtake. I think we have not such a bad pace and we will try our best. Our target is to put many heavy points on the table.”

Leon Haslam: “Our main objective was to get on the front row, and at Valencia there are such tight times, from front four to tenth place. We messed up a little bit in Superpole two, I used my qualifying tyre but got balked on my lap and had to use a second qualifier, which meant In the last part I was using a two or three lap old qualifier. I am feeling pretty good for tomorrow.”

Times: 1. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’33.615; 2. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1198 1’33.840; 3. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 1’33.860; 4. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’33.961; 5. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.059; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’34.073; 7. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’34.235; 8. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34.261; 9. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 1’33.988; 10. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34.021; 11. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1198 1’34.100; 12. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1198 1’34.246; 13. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F 1’34.273; 14. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1198 1’34.280; 15. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1198 1’34”730; 16. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’34.394; 17. Xaus R. (ESP) BMW S1000 RR 1’34.756; 18. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’34”894; 19. Pitt A. (AUS) BMW S 1000 RR 1’36.088; 20. Morais S. (RSA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’36.072; 21. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.104; 22. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.117; 23. Andrews S. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.329; 24. Iannuzzo V. (ITA) Honda CBR 1000 RR 1’36.524; 25. Resch R. (AUT) BMW S1000 RR 1’36.639

SBK: Max Biaggi Takes First Doubleheader Win at Portimao

In front of 77.000 people, Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) won each 22-lap race at Portimao today to go second in the championship rankings, behind the rider who took two second places, Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki). The margin of victory for Biaggi was 0.200 seconds in race one, and 0.191 seconds in race two, as Max took his career win total to six. He scored his first SBK double win today, having started the race second on the grid. Haslam now has 85 points, Biaggi 69.
Race 1
Max Biaggi held off Haslam for the race one win but only after a strong man-to-man fight throughout. Jonathan Rea went third for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, when Cal Crutchlow fell off his Sterilgarda Yamaha late in the race, remounting to go 14th.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) had to work hard to keep Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) behind as he scored fourth place. Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) rode through the pain of a big crash on Saturday to take sixth. Noriyuki Haga recovered from his fifth row start to take eighth and the first BMW Motorrad machine home belonged to Troy Corser, ninth.
Race 2
A close four-rider fight for the win went to Biaggi again, from Leon Haslam, who was not quite able to overtake Biaggi and make it stick, as Max used his superior drive out of the final corner to pass Leon when it mattered. Cal Crutchlow scored his second career SBK podium, and his first as a series regular, running his Yamaha to third. Carlos Checa was fourth – and only 1.015 seconds covered the whole top four after another tense race. In the championship Haslam leads with 85 points, Biaggi is second on 69 and Checa third with 60.
In each race today there were four different manufacturers in the top four – Aprilia, Suzuki, Honda and Ducati in race one, and Aprilia, Suzuki, Yamaha and Ducati in race two. The second race saw a vee-four, a conventional ‘screamer’ four, a cross-plane crankshaft four and a 1200cc vee-twin fill the top four places – all the engine configurations competing in SBK this year within a second of each other after 22 laps and almost 160km of close racing.
It was only last October that the previous Portimao round was run, but in those short months the progress has been amazing. Race one today was 16 seconds faster than it’s equivalent in October and race two was 13 seconds faster this year compared to last.

Max Biaggi: “It is great to get my first double win in World Superbike. The feeling is great and the first double win of anybody this year so I feel confident and we are in a good rhythm. We go to Valencia next and we will ask very much of ourselves there as well. We had good speed down the straight today but if you saw how fast we could exit the last corner then you would know it was not just the engine. Our bike is fast but other bikes are also fast.”
Leon Haslam: “I was trying everything to pass Max and in race two I timed it so I could be in the lead with a few laps to go and make a break, but Max came back past me on the straight. It was hard racing today from lap one right to the end. We got two podiums and although I was disappointed not to get another win, we are still leading the championship. That puts a smile back on my face.”
Jonathan Rea: “Somebody ran me a bit wide on the first turn of race one and I was held up a lot after that, so when I picked up some pace it opened my eyes to what I could do. In race one I think I made one mistake and had to catch up quite a few riders, but I still finished third.”
Cal Crutchlow: “The places where I was losing time where the places I was using the tyre a lot, and I was making a few small mistakes as well. I had Carlos right behind me for most of the second race and that kept me on my toes. Fortunately Max and Leon made a few little mistakes running wide and that allowed me to hang on in there until the end.”
World Supersport – Sofuoglu supreme in Portugal
Kenan Sofuoglu (Ten Kate Honda) won a thrilling Supersport race by 0.031 seconds from Joan Lascorz (Motocard.com Kawasaki) and Sofuoglu’s team-mate Michele Pirro. Long time leader Eugene Laverty was caught and passed by both Sofuoglu and Lascorz with a few laps left to run and soon after lost the front, falling but restarting to finish 11th. Chas Davies (ParkinGO Triumph BE1) was fourth on his three-cylinder machine. Local rider Miguel Praia was forced to stop on his Parkalgar Honda.
After the second round, Sofuoglu leads the championship, 41 points to Lascorz’ 40. Laverty has 30 points in third.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup – Badovini wins debut race for BMW
The arrival in Superstock 1000 of the S1000RR was an immediately successful one, as Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) took the win after race long rival Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Racing Junior) ran off track and lost 2.5 seconds on the final lap. Third was Loris Baz (MRS Racing Yamaha) meaning there were three different machines on the podium.
Pirelli (Official Tyre Supplier)
“Back in Portimão after just five months allows for some incredible tyre developments, seen already in Race 1 when six riders on five different bikes quickened the lap record as much as 0.75 seconds and the final race time by 16 seconds. After just one year from the start of Aprilia’s renewed SBK project, Biaggi has found the ideal tyre performances to take his first double win. All these impressive results come from Diablo Superbike SC2 front and SC1 rear tyres recently inserted in the Pirelli racing range, based on confirmed solutions from the previous season. The eventful races and diverse podiums filled by the four manufacturer’s bikes of Aprilia, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha were no surprise, as starting from the 2nd Superbike practice, the first 18 riders were seperated by only 1.27 seconds. The FIM Superstock 1000 was also notable as congratulations to BMW Motorrad Italia on their first win in the class, to Berger (Honda) who brought down the Lap Record by 1 second, and the final podium filled with three different manufacturers – BMW Honda Yamaha -” Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto

SBK: Brits Lead the Way in Day 1 Portimao Superbike Test

Cal Crutchlow at 2010 Portimao World Superbike Test

Three British riders powered to the front in the first day of the official Superbike test at the Portimao circuit in Portugal. Leon Haslam was the man most in form as the Suzuki Alstare rider went quickest both in the morning and the afternoon, ending the day on the 1 minute 42.778 second mark, just three-tenths off Ben Spies’ 2009 outright circuit best lap.
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) continued to ease his way into the top category in last year’s title winning team, and he was a fraction behind in second place, while Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) damaged his little finger in the morning run, but bounced back on form to take the third slot.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) failed to improve in the afternoon, but nevertheless ended the day in fourth, a whisker ahead of James Toseland, who has returned to race for Yamaha Sterilgarda this year. Shane Byrne (Althea Racing) continued the British flavour at the top with sixth fastest time.
For the moment the Ducati Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio are slightly off the pace in seventh and eighth place respectively, while new entrant, American Roger Lee Hayden eased his way into the World Superbike scene for the Kawasaki Pedercini team.

James Toseland at Portimao World Superbike Test

Portimao World Superbike Day 1 Test
1. Leon Haslam GBR Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1min 42.778s
2. Cal Crutchlow GBR Yamaha WSB YZF R1 1min 42.960s
3. Jonathan Rea GBR HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1min 43.033s
4. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Racing RSV-4 1min 43.364s *
5. James Toseland GBR Yamaha WSB YZF R1 1min 43.378s
6. Shane Byrne GBR Althea Ducati 1098R 1min 43.569s
7. Noriyuki Haga JPN Ducati Xerox 1198 1min 43.574s
8. Michel Fabrizio ITA Ducati Xerox 1198 1min 43.711s
9. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 1min 43.870s
10. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Racing RSV-4 1min 43.903s
11. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000 1min 44.283s
12. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R 1min 44.365s
13. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 44.376s
14. Max Neukirchner GER Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR 1min 44.453s
15. Ruben Xaus ESP BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 44.570s
16. Chris Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki SRT ZX-10R 1min 44.576s
17. Broc Parkes AUS Echo-CRS Honda CBR1000RR 1min 44.751s
18. Vittorio Iannuzzo ITA SCI Honda CBR1000RR 1min 46.444s
19. Javier Fores ESP Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 47.293s
20. Roger Lee Hayden USA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 48.317s