Monday, September 05, 2011

Carlos Checa boost Superbike title lead

Posted by Admin On 10:36 AM

Carlos Checa comprehensive his World Superbike finals lead to 74 points with a 33-point haul at the Nurburgring. The Spaniard won the first of today's two races with a leading presentation around the German circuit. He could only finish eighth as Tom Sykes won a sodden and chaotic next race, but his 376-point total foliage him well clear atop the standing.
Checa's title pursuit was given a boost before the start of events as he nearest challenger before today, Aprilia's Max Biaggi, failed to conquer a foot injury suffered in Friday practice and did not take his place on the grid. And the Althea Racing ace was barely challenge once the opening race got under way, holding off the early challenge of Noriyuki Haga before powering clear of the field to open up an ultimate winning margin of almost two seconds.
Haga eventually came home third, splitting the Yamahas of second-placed Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty. In race two, rain caused havoc all through and eventually augmented in strength to bring about an early finish after only 13 laps. Haga again provided the early impetus but, after leading for almost the entire race, he stopped out on lap 12 along with fellow Japanese rider Makoto Tamada, the final two of six retirements.
That left Briton Sykes in the lead, and he gesticulate nervously to race control as he crossed the line that the race should be stopped. That decision was taken at the two-thirds point of lap 14, with the result count back to the previous lap to earn him his first ever win in World Superbikes - and the first since 2006 for Kawasaki, who have a history of drama well in wet conditions - as he led home settlement Ducati pair Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz.
Melandri was sixth, only just behind team-mate Laverty, who had also indicated on a number of occasions that the race should be stopped up. The result saw the Italian overtake national Biaggi for second place in the standings, on 302 points. Biaggi has 281, with Laverty fourth on 232.


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