WSBK: Race 2 a Chess Match in the Czech Republic

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Max Biaggi won pole for the 2011 World Superbike round at Brno during Saturday’s Superpole sessions, beating out Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa, and Eugene Laverty, who join him on the front row for the second race of the weekend. Biaggi’s teammate Leon Camier was not so quick, though he did manage to move on to Superpole 3 after a late crash in the first third nearly kept him from setting any time at all. Neither Castrol Honda moved on beyond the final Saturday qualifying practice, nor did most of the Kawasaki riders fare terribly well.

Multiple riders sat out this weekend’s racing, with Lorenzo Lanzi replacing James Toseland at BMW Motorrad Italia, Alex Lowes in for Jonathan Rea at Castrol Honda, and no one filling in for Troy Corser at BMW Motorrad. Toseland rode in the Friday free practice, but was forced to give up his seat after his wrist injury continued to cause problems. Ruben Xaus was also forced to sit out Race 2 after a massive crash in Race 1 on Sunday. Though he did not have any broken bones, he did not race. Chris Vermeulen also did not start the second race.

Biaggi got another good start to take the lead of Race 2, with Melandri, Checa, Laverty, and Fabrizio the top five. Again, Fabrizio made and early pass on Laverty to take fourth as Guintoli looked to join the fray. By the end of the second lap, Biaggi had three tenths on Melandri, with Checa another half second behind. Riders were generally settled in as the early laps ticked down, with Biaggi and Melandri easing away fromt he rest of the field by the end of the fifth lap of twenty.

Though Biaggi appeared to have an easy lead, Melandri remained quite close behind the Aprilia. The central portion of the race appeared to be a bit of a chess match, until Melandri went for the lead on lap eleven through turn three. At the halfway point, Melandri had almost three tenths on Biaggi, with Checa, Fabrizio, and Laverty the top five. Badovini, in sixth, was five seconds behind Laverty as Haslam, Sykes, Lascorz, and Guintoli completed the top ten.

However, Biaggi soon re-took the lead from Melandri, with things not as lucky for teammate Camier. The Briton crashed with eight laps remaining, though he managed to get back on the bike and continue on, though he soon retired. It was also a bad day for home rider Smrz, who lost the front and tumbled out of the race soon thereafter.

As the final laps ticked away, Biaggi maintained his lead of a fluctuating few tenths on Melandri, as Checa drifted back a second behind the leader. Fabrizio in fourth was another nearly two seconds back, as Laverty, Badovini, Haslam, Lascorz, Guintoli, and Haga maintained the top ten with five laps to go. Melandri took the lead back with two laps left, then Biaggi was ahead again, ran wide and kept the inside line and the first position. The final lap brought hard, pushing racing from Melandri, but he was not close enough to actually dive under Biaggi for the win. The Aprilia rider won from pole, keeping Melandri from two wins on the weekend, and Checa completed the podium.

World Superbike Race Results from Race 1 at Brno, Czech Republic:

Pos. No. Rider Team Diff.
1 1 Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team
2 33 Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK Team 0.222
3 7 Carlos Checa Althea Racing Ducati 3.558
4 84 Michel Fabrizio Team Suzuki Alstare 7.863
5 58 Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK Team 7.534
6 86 Ayrton Badovini BMW Motorrad Italia 18.085
7 91 Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad 21.650
8 17 Joan Lascorz Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 21.962
9 50 Sylvain Guintoli Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 25.306
10 41 Noriyuki Haga PATA Racing Team Aprilia 27.366
11 44 Roberto Rolfo Team Pedericini Kawasaki 33.716
12 8 Mark Aitchison Team Pedericini Kawasaki 36.549
13 57 Lorenzo Lanzi BMW Motorrad Italia 37.468
14 66 Tom Sykes Paul Bird Racing Kawasaki 46.878
15 13 Victor Kispataki Prop-tech ltd. Honda 1:38.074
Not Classified
121 Maxime Berger Supersonic Racing Ducati 5 Laps
2 Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 6 Laps
96 Jakub Smrz Team Effenbert-Liberty Ducati 8 Laps
15 Matteo Baiocco Barni Racing Team Ducati 11 Laps
22 Alex Lowes Castrol Honda 15 Laps

Source: WSBK; Photo: