Biaggi got his third double win of the WSB season for the Alitalia
Aprilia team, but he was gifted both victories.
Checa, riding for the satellite Althea Ducati team, was on a mission
at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah all weekend, comfortably fastest
and winning pole position. In
both races he cleared off, built huge leads — and then suffered
apparently identical electrical faults with the throttle "fly by
wire" system that stopped his bike dead.
In the first race he was
three laps from a dominant win, in the second it happened before
half-distance, by which time he’d already built up a big lead.
far as I can recall, it’s the first mechanical failure the team has
had all year, and certainly his team-mate Shane Byrne had no problems
for WSB, the first race was actually a bit of a snoozer. Leon Haslam
(Alstare Suzuki) provided some excitement by barging his way up to
second after a bad start, keeping a narrow margin in his series title
Noriyuki Haga had an uncharacteristically good day on his Xerox
Ducati, finishing third. His team-mate Michel Fabrizio crashed out.
the second race it was the same up front, except that Troy Corser on
his BMW made his second unbelievable start, slotting from the fifth
row into a battle for the lead before the first lap was over. He soon
settled into a comfortable third behind Checa and Biaggi, then
suffered the BMW’s usual problem of lack of traction as the race
wound down. He was eventually passed by Biaggi’s team-mate Leon
Camier (the 2009 British Superbike champion continues to impress
everyone, particularly since he’s a big guy on a tiny bike; this
second was his best finish yet in WSB), Sterilgarda Yamaha’s Cal
Crutchlow, and Haga.
Haslam again had a bad start, rode like a man on
a mission, then suffered a nasty high-side out of the race. It’s
his first DNF of the season.
double win and Haslam’s zero points in race two give the Aprilia
rider the lead in the series for the first time as it goes into a
three-week break at mid-point in the schedule.
Jonathon Rea, third in
the points standings on his Ten Kate Hannspree Honda, had another
horrible weekend, crashing out of the first race and only managing
eighth in the second. He was already riding hurt, after suffering a
massive practice crash that added insult to injury — or perhaps
more accurately injury to insult — when his bike ran him over hard
enough to leave rubber embedded in his chest and neck.
whatever reason, the only U.S. stop on the WSB calendar was a serious
crashfest. In addition to the ones already mentioned, Roger Lee
Hayden and James Toseland hit the dirt as well. Everyone’s going to
be glad for the four-week break before the next race.
Superbike Point Standings after seven of 13 events (14 of 26 races):
1. Max Biaggi, Italy, Alitalia Aprilia, 257 points; 2. Leon Haslam,
U.K., Alstare Suzuki, 242; 3. Jonathan Rea, Ireland, Hannspree Ten
Kate Honda, 151; 4. Carlos Checa, Spain, Althea Racing Ducati, 141;
5. Noriyuki Haga, Japan, Xerox Ducati, 135;
James Toseland, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha,132; 7. Troy Corser,
Australia, BMW Motorrad, 127; 8. Leon Camier, U.K., Alitalia Aprilia,
115; 9. Cal Crutchlow, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, 107; 10. Michel
Fabrizio, Italy, Xerox Ducati, 102.
event, the San Marino race at Misano in Northern Italy, June 27.