Checa and Sykes trade wins on day of contrasting conditions

World Championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) once again showed the reasons why he is out front in the points standings with three rounds to run, after posting an assured win in race one and then holding his nerve in atrociously wet conditions in race two to score points for eighth place – all on a day when his main championship rival was ruled out. “After the summer break and now facing the last quarter of the season, Pirelli has begun confirming the current developments in preparation for the 2012 production range of Diablo racing tyres. For the race at Nürburgring, Pirelli prepared 3 fronts and 4 rear Superbike solutions, along with 3 fronts and 3 rears for Supersport. Superpole has already left its mark, having seen Checa (Ducati) register a new circuit lap record of 1’54.144 on Diablo Superpole tyres, edging out Biaggi’s (Aprilia) time of last year. Mild conditions in SBK Race 1 put the front row on a common solution, with race winner Checa (Ducati), Melandri (Yamaha) and Laverty (Yamaha) mounting the new mid-soft ‘B’ front and new SC1 or ‘C’ rear. Haga (Aprilia) instead opted for the softer ‘A’ front and ‘A’ or SC0 rear and captured an impressive 2nd place finish. SBK Race 2 was declared a wet race, putting into play the proven SCR1 Diablo Rain tyres, but after completing 12 laps the race was red flagged under a downpour and Sykes (Kawasaki) was declared the winner, the first in his career and first for the brand in 5 years. In the WSS race, several riders consistently lapped in the 2’00s nearly the entire race on the new ‘B’ or SC1 front and the ‘A’ or new Diablo Supercorsa SC0 rear, seeing strong performances from Ellison (Honda) on a privateer bike who set a Pirelli Best Lap of 1'59.79 and took his first career podium in the class.” - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto Pirelli BEST LAP Awards: SBK Race 1 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1'55.971 (Lap 4) SBK Race 2 – Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia), 2’14.619 (Lap 7) Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 7, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 5, Melandri M. (Yamaha World Superbike): 3, Haga N. (PATA Racing Team Aprilia): 2, Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike): 1, Camier L. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 1, Fabrizio M. (Team Suzuki Alstare): 1 WSS – James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda),  1'59.795 (Lap 12) Total BEST LAP (WSS): Foret F. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 2, Lowes S. (Parkalgar Honda): 2, Scassa L. (Yamaha ParkinGO Team): 1, Davies C. (Yamaha ParkinGO Team): 1, Rea G. (Step Racing Team): 1, Harms R. (Harms Benjan Racing Team): 1, Ellison J. (Bogdanka PTR Honda): 1 Stk1000 – Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing), 1’59.012 (Lap 5) Stk600 – Michael Vd Mark (Ten Kate Junior Team), 2'03.429 (Lap 5) A new rider also took his place at the top table of WSBK race-winning riders today, and on a new machine in the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. Tom Sykes won for the Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike squad in a race in which only 13 riders finished in treacherous track conditions. Sykes is the sixth individual race winner of the 2011 season so far, with three rounds and six races left to run. Title challenging Aprilia Alitalia rider Max Biaggi missed out on raceday altogether after the injury to his left foot he picked up on Friday proved too difficult to overcome, but the new second ranked rider, Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) showed real fighting qualities in dry and wet conditions, scoring second in race one and splashing his way to sixth in the second race, which was shortened because of the rains. A great start to the day for Noriyuki Haga (Pata Aprilia) saw him third ahead of the factory Yamaha of Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) in race one, but then fall from a winning position in race two, caught out by an increase in the intensity of the rain. An excellent day for the privateers saw not one but two Effenbert Liberty Racing Team Ducati riders on the race two podium when Sylvain Guintoli was second and Jakub Smrz third. Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) had a good comeback weekend in many ways, topped of by fourth in race two, but his fellow Briton James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK) fell out of contention in race two and suffered a bruised right elbow and a cut on his left elbow. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) suffered with a painful right hand after a collision in race one, and finished 16th in the opener, and a retiree in the second. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team). Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) had a fifth and a ninth in BMW’s home races. Race 1 Checa posted a superb opening win, holding off early aggression from eventual podium man Haga before gapping all his pursuers in clinical style. Second was Melandri, Haga was third and then - in an eventually lonely fourth - Melandri's team-mate Laverty. Haslam had been fifth early on then ran off track, climbing back from 14th place at one stage to re-take fifth. Guintoli was a confident top six finisher, some seven seconds ahead of top Kawasaki man Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) who recovered from a bad start to take Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) over the line. Carlos Checa: “It was a special race for many reasons, and I’d like to dedicate the win to Claudio Castiglioni on behalf of myself, the team and Ducati because this person was a part of this world and thanks to him we are racing with these bikes here. As for me it was a very good race, and it’s one step in front for the championship. I know that I had to make a gap in the early laps, because I was suffering a little on the straight. At the end I was struggling a little with the tyres but the difference was good enough for me to win.” Marco Melandri: “It was a difficult race for me. I had a good start but for the first few laps I wasn’t very fast against Nori and Carlos. I made a small mistake and lost the front under braking, going off the track and coming back fourth. I fought with Eugene, tried to catch Nori, but am very happy to be second today. We did a good job.” Noriyuki Haga: “I really like this track. I was looking for success but at the beginning of race 1 Carlos was very fast. I know how the Ducati works here and I tried to catch up with him. In the race I was at 120% but couldn’t catch him, but I was happy with third at the end. I showed all the world that at over 35 years of age I still have performance!” Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38'59.779 (158,077 kph); 2. Melandri M. (ITA)Yamaha YZF R1 1.855; 3. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.322; 4. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 7.789; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 9.727; 6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 10.113; 7. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 17.226; 8. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 17.228; 9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 18.166; 10. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 19.457; etc. Race 2 Sykes secured Kawasaki's first win since 2006, and his own first ever WSBK race victory, when he headed up a shortened 13-lap race at the Nürburgring. Haga had led for virtually the whole race, which was held in wet conditions that ranged from merely wet to completely soaking. When he fell Sykes took the lead and when the rains re-doubled in intensity race direction called the contest, with Sykes ahead of Guintoli and Smrz. Fourth was Rea, who despite a high-speed crash remounted to score good points ahead of fifth placed Laverty and his team-mate Melandri. Tom Sykes: “The first win feels absolutely fantastic, the conditions today were unbelievable! It was good to see the red flag and even better to see it in first position. The bike had a fantastic setting today in the wet from the Paul Bird Motorsport team, the feel was fantastic as well. Fortunately the rains came and I managed to make a gap to Sylvain, it’s great to be back especially after the biggest crash of my career at Silverstone just one month ago!” Sylvain Guintoli: “It was definitely good fun, very dangerous though with a lot of water towards the end. I struggled to stay with Tom, I had to push hard and nearly crashed about 20 times! In the end the rain came down very hard, but the pace was great and I had good fun.” Jakub Smrz: “I think everyone is happy because this was a difficult race, very hectic on the grid because we couldn’t change anything for the wet and I was struggling a lot in the first part of the track. I was lucky, stayed on the bike, made average lap times and in the end I got a podium.” Results: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 29'49.337 (134,358 kph); 2. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 4.063; 3. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 22.759; 4. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 28.497; 5. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 38.374; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 45.326; 7. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 47.030; 8. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R; 50.032; 9. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 53.586; 10. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 55.261; etc. Points (after 10 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 376; 2. Melandri 302; 3. Biaggi 281; 4. Laverty 232; 5. Haslam 176; 6. Camier 154; 7: Fabrizio 141; 8. Guintoli 139; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 400; 2. Yamaha 351; 3. Aprilia 336; 4. BMW 214; 5. Kawasaki 171; 6. Suzuki 158; 7. Honda. 132. World Supersport Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) had to summon all his braking ability on the final few laps to prevent the rejuvenated James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) from passing him around the long Nürburgring circuit. Davies held him off to win by only 0.091 seconds, with third placed Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) a lonely 3.7 seconds from the winner. Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) went into the top four after a tough battle at times with fifth placed Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) and sixth place Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). Broc Parkes (Provec Motocard.com Kawasaki) and David Salom (Provec Motocard.com Kawasaki) held off Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), with Balazs Nemeth (Hungary Team Toth Honda) going tenth. Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 38'10.466 (153,406 kph); 2. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 0.091; 3. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 3.749; 4. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 6.269; 5. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.702; 6. Foret F. (FRA)Honda CBR600RR 14.034; 7. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 25.943; 8. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 29.696; etc. Points (after 9 of 12 rounds): 1. Davies 171; 2. Salom 112; 3. Foret 111; 4. Parkes 104; 5. Scassa 96; 6. Lowes 89; 7. Rea 62; 8. Ellison 62; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 201; 2. Honda 169; 3. Kawasaki 145; 4. Triumph 24. Superstock 1000 Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) saw his main championship rival Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) finish only fourth in the Nürburgring race, putting Giugliano's championship challenge back in track. Race winner Giugliano now leads Zanetti 140 points to 117, after a race in which Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) finished second and Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport Ducati) went third. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team) was forced out with a technical issue while in a strong second place, and therefore Petrucci is ranked third in the championship, on 94 points, Barrier is fourth on 85, with three rounds left to run. Results: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 22'00.274 (154,078 kph); 2. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW 1000 RR 4.274; 3. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 11.241; 4. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 11.459; 5. Baroni L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 11.711; 6. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 13.169; 7. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 15.742; 8. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 17.441; etc. Points (after 7 of 10 rounds): 1. Giugliano 140; 2. Zanetti 117: 3. Petrucci 94; 4. Barrier 85; 5. Canepa 80; 6. Baroni 57; 7. Antonelli 53; 8. Reiterberger 52; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 165; 2. BMW 142; 3. Kawasaki 66; 4. Honda 61; 5. Yamaha 16. European Junior Cup In the single make European Junior Cup, with riders all on identical Kawasaki Ninja 250R machines, Australian Matt Davies once more showed his class-leading ability to win from his great rival Tom Busch and third placed Kyran De Lange. Davies now takes a ten point advantage over Busch into the final race at Magny-Cours.