Melandri and Biaggi cut into Checa’s championship lead
A 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 keep Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) behind him for much of the race and 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. “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 tyre supplier. To guarantee fast racing and longevity of performance, Pirelli furnished a total of 4300 tyres consisting of 3 front and 4 rear solutions for WSBK and 3 front and 3 rears for SSP. WSBK tyre options included the standard mid-soft (SC1), and a new for 2011 mid-soft (SC1) rear tyre both presented at and winning Race 2 of last week's San Marino round. Additionally, Pirelli’s medium (SC2) from World Endurance and SC3 rear tyres were present in case of an over abrasive track. Front WSBK tyres 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 tyre for Race 1, with the exception of Biaggi (Aprilia) and Melandri (Yamaha) who chose the development “A”, or SC1 tyre, as well as Checa (Ducati) who opted for the harder SC2 rear tyre 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; 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 tyres, as it was the choice of all three manufacturers on the podium: Davies (Yamaha), Lowes (Honda) and Salom (Kawasaki); the Diablo Supercorsa tyres 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 secs, 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 tyre development. ” - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto Pirelli BEST LAP Awards: SBK Race 1 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1'58.862 (Lap 7) SBK Race 2 – Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike), 1'59.159 (Lap 3) Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 6, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 3, Haga N. (PATA Racing Team Aprilia): 1, Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike): 1, Camier L. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 1, Fabrizio M. (Team Suzuki Alstare): 1, Melandri M (Yamaha World Superbike): 1 WSS – Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda), 2'02.785 (Lap 6) 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 Stk1000 – Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport), 2'01.565 (Lap 2) Stk600 – Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team), 2'05.91 (Lap 2) Spanish riders had some good and the occasional not so good results all round, with Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) posting seventh in race one then finishing an season best equalling fifth in race two. Irish rider Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) put in a fourth and a sixth place today, to remain fourth overall. This weekend WSB legend Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) took part in his 300th race and left with strong results of sixth and seventh to his credit. Tom Sykes equalled 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 teams, with Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) scoring two ninth places and Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) was eighth and tenth. The worst experience of all came for the luckless Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) as an entirely accidental collision between him and Maxime 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. Race 1 Melandri took his second win of the year after leading when it really counted as his rival Biaggi made a small slip a few laps from the end. The margin of victory was 1.5 seconds. Camier was a strong finisher in third, and Laverty took fourth place in a close fight with Sykes. Haga and Lascorz followed close behind those two. Checa fell while in a potential podium position, on lap eight. He had just set the fastest lap of the race and was pushing on to try and stay with the leading riders. Marco Melandri: “It’s been an awesome race for me. Max was strong and consistent at the start and it was difficult to follow him. But in the end it was going to be tough for me to pass him so thanks to him that he made a mistake! Otherwise it would have been difficult. The team has been working very hard and I was very confident all weekend.” Max Biaggi: “I cannot say I am super-happy for the result but I had a good rhythm and just at the end the bike was a little more difficult to ride. We need to work more on the bike to improve it towards the end of the race, and hopefully we can do that for race 2.” Leon Camier: “I was struggling a bit at the beginning to get into the rhythm, but I’m happy with the result and happy for Aprilia, everyone’s worked hard this weekend. It’ll now make me try and go better at the beginning of the next race really.” Results: 1. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 40'01.968 (160,189 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1.572; 3. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.432; 4. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 10.799; 5. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 10.847; 6. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.931; 7. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 12.591; 8. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 16.954; 9. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 24.205; 10. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 24.694; etc. Race 2 Biaggi took his long awaited first win of the 2011 season after an immaculate display of front running, heading Melandri by 4.809 seconds, after he ran off track at one point, with a few laps to go. Checa completed a damage limitation exercise after his fall in race one, scoring third in the second 20-lap contest, from the impressive Fabrizio. Lascorz was a ‘hometown’ top five finisher, from Laverty and Haga. Biaggi’s victory made him the fifth different rider, from the fourth different manufacturer, to win at least one race in 2011. Max Biaggi: “I’m very happy of course, this is my first win of 2011. I didn’t get one before because the other guys did a better job than me. This win came after a very strong race, I had a good pace all the way to the end, so the changes we made to the bike’s suspension made it work better than race 1. We should have done it before for race 1 but I’m happy with today’s results.” Marco Melandri: “The conditions were a little bit different to race 1 and Max had a bit better pace. I was braking so hard to recover what we lost in acceleration, so I lost the front, the tyre locked and I lost the position on the bike and went off. I’m disappointed, it wasn’t easy to try and pass like in race 1, but I’m happy anyway.” Carlos Checa: “What a weekend with a crash in race 1 and struggling to catch Marco and Max in race 2, but it was impossible. After reaching third I felt it was the best situation to stay in third. Honestly, it was quite acceptable and I am quite satisfied for race 2, it was a shame because it was my home race, we wanted to be at the top but here was not the place.” Results: 1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 40'04.407 (160,026 kph); 2. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 4.809; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 6.944; 4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.001; 5. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 11.562; 6. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 14.288; 7. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 15.138; 8. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 17.660; 9. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 24.184; 10. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 24.676; etc. Points (after 7 of 13 rounds): 1. Checa 261; 2. Biaggi 218; 3. Melandri 195; 4. Laverty 146; 5. Camier 125; 6. Haslam 120; 7. Fabrizio 108; 8. Rea 94. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 273; 2. Aprilia 257; 3. Yamaha 235; 4. BMW 153; 5. Suzuki 112; 6. Honda and Kawasaki 111. World Supersport Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) won his third race of the year and took the championship lead after a dramatic race at Motorland. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) was a close second but was unable to get into the slipstream of Davies to mount a last lap pass. David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and Massimo Roccoli (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) finished third and forth respectively, in a race where two top contenders fell out of leading positions. Poleman Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) no scored after separate crashes near the end. Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 37'06.751 (155,514 kph); 2. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 0.564; 3. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 4.645; 4. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 10.984; 5. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 23.792; 6. Rea G. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 24.009; 7. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 24.297; 8. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 33.850; etc. Points (after 6 rounds of 12): 1. Davies 105; 2. Parkes 85; 3. Salom 71; 4. Scassa 70; 5. Foret 65; 6. Lowes 63; 7. Harms 59; 8. Roccoli 39; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 135; 2. Honda 108; 3. Kawasaki 101; 4. Triumph 16. Superstock 1000 Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) took his third win in the 1000cc Superstock category this year but he had to work hard out front for it. He was pushed in the final sector of the 12-lap race by second place rider Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), who tried on the final two laps to pass the Roman rider, after Davide had made a mistake and lost his yet small race-long advantage. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team) went third, winning a sprint to the line from Niccolò Canepa (Lazio MotorSport). The top four were well ahead of fifth place man, Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock). Results: 1. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 24'25.762 (157,502 kph); 2. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1.078; 3. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2.785; 4.Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 2.790; 5. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 8.806; 6.Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 16.656; 7. Reiterberger M. (GER) BMW S1000 RR 16.881; 8. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 20.834; etc. Points (after 4 of 10 rounds): 1. Giugliano 95; 2. Petrucci 69; 3. Zanetti 68; 4. Barrier 40; 5. Canepa 37; 6. Antonelli 28; 7. Magnoni 26; 8. Massei 26; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 95; 2. BMW 77; 3. Kawasaki 39; 4. Honda 36; 5. Yamaha 9. Motorland Aragon also hosted the third round of the European Junior Cup, which saw a second successive win for Matt Davies. The Australian took the flag ahead of Germany’s Tom Busch and Spain’s Ruben Fenoll. Busch leads the table with seven points advantage over Davies.