N News & Results

Melandri and Biaggi Cut Into Checa’s Championship Lead

Race 1 podium from Aragon: (left to right) Biaggi, Melandri and Camier. Photo by WSBKA hot afternoon of racing in every way saw Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) trade wins and second place finishes to squeeze the title leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) in the overall points standings. The Spanish rider fell in race one at his home track and then took a well-deserved podium place – third – in race two. Checa, desperate to make amends for sliding off as he chased the leading duo in race one, had to work hard to behind him for much of the race.  Checa’s 16 points for third place mean that Biaggi is still 43 behind and Melandri is 66 adrift as the season clicked past its mid-point today. 

Spanish riders had some good and the occasional not so good results all round, with Joan posting seventh in race one then finishing an Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) (Yamaha season best equaling fifth in race two. Irish rider Eugene Laverty World Superbike Team) put in a fourth and a sixth place today; to remain fourth (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) took overall. This weekend WSB legend Noriyuki Haga part in his 300th race and left with strong results of sixth and seventh to his credit. Tom Sykes equaled fellow Kawasaki rider Lascorz’ prowess with fifth in race one, but a fall in race two spoiled an otherwise consistent and competitive weekend, as the whole Kawasaki effort took another step up with their new bike.

Once more it was a tough weekend for the BMW riders, this time from both official and satellite scoring two ninth places and (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)teams, with Leon Haslam was eighth and tenth. The worst (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) Ayrton Badovini experience of all came for the luckless Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) as an entirely accidental collision between him and Maxima Berger caused Troy’s left radius and ulna to fracture, putting him out of action in race two. He had been tenth in race one.

“Racing at a new track like Motorland Aragón with the longest straight of the championship, elevation changes and truly extreme braking points is very exciting and challenging for a tire supplier,” said Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director of Pirelli Moto. “To guarantee fast racing and longevity of performance, Pirelli furnished a total of 4300 tires consisting of 3 front and 4 rear solutions for WSBK and 3 front and 3 rears for SSP. WSBK tire options included the standard mid-soft (SC1), and a new for 2011 mid-soft (SC1) rear tire both presented at and winning Race 2 of last week's San Marino round.

“Additionally,” Barbier continued, “Pirelli’s medium (SC2) from World Endurance and SC3 rear tires were present in case of an over-abrasive track. Front WSBK tires included the standard SC1 and development soft (SC1) along with a mid-soft (SC2) front. At this first ever Alcaniz round, most riders opted for the standard mid-soft “B” rear tire for Race 1, with the exception of Biaggi (Aprilia) and Melandri (Yamaha) who chose the development “A”, or SC1 tire, as well as Checa (Ducati) who opted for the harder SC2 rear tire and set a Pirelli Best Lap of 1'58.862 before crashing out. Biaggi (Aprilia) demonstrated confidence in the new mid-soft, having registered lap times in the 1'57s during the Superpole. Nine riders switched to the new mid-soft rear for Race 2 with an asphalt temperature peaking to 53°C (127°F); Fabrizio (Suzuki) benefitting strongly from this change with a jump from 11th to 4th position, and both Melandri (Yamaha) and Biaggi (Aprilia) who lapped consistently in the 1'59s throughout the middle part of the race. Supersport riders were also content with the mid-soft SC1 front and rear tires, as it was the choice of all three manufacturers on the podium: Davies (Yamaha), Lowes (Honda) and Salom (Kawasaki); the Diablo Supercorsa tires helping Lowes to earn his second Pirelli Best Lap and Salom to obtain his first podium. Interesting note also from the Stk1000, where the gap between Giugliano's (Ducati) fastest lap of 2'01.589 and his slowest (10°) was just 0.66 seconds, demonstrating real consistency of the Diablo Supercorsa SC2 in such hot conditions. We look forward to our return to Aragon for a continuation of this excellent tire development.”

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