Biaggi and Aprilia unbeatable


Biaggi checks his underarm after winning a race: image is everything.

Biaggi showed the improving strength of his Alitalia Aprila RSV4 at
the twisty Misano circuit, taking another double victory and
extending his series lead over Leon Haslam on the Alstare Suzuki.

BMW S1000RR also continues to improve, as Troy Corser was fastest in
every practice session, took Superpole, then led more than half the
first race before falling victim to first Biaggi, then Carlos Checa
on his Althea Ducati.

believes the bike is overdue for a win, but was philosophical after
the first race: "The track was really slippery compared to this
morning, so it took a few laps to get a feel for the tyre and get a
good rhythm. I made a mistake and Max came past, I tried a bit too
hard and that was about it for me. It was positive all the same
because we managed to stay in front for a good while."

wasn’t so lucky in the second race, getting out of shape after
missing a downshift while fighting with Checa for fifth on the last
lap; he managed to save it and finished 10th.

had a set-up problem in the first race and could only manage a
seriously annoyed eighth, but the team did some fiddling and in the
second race he led a scrambling pack behind Biaggi to keep his title
hopes alive.

"We have had a tough weekend and [in the first
race] we had a few issues. The team came up trumps for me in race two
and we finished in second place behind Max. Second is never good for
me behind Max as he is the championship leader but today we will take

also hinted, not too subtly, that a little help from the factory
would be appreciated, saying, "Max is riding well and the Aprilia
is currently the package to beat, but I’m confident that, as long as
we all work hard, we can beat him. We do all our own development work
and it’s because of all the hard work, that we are competitive. If
Suzuki Japan wanted to give us some more help, it would be much
appreciated and it would be a great benefit to us all."

again, Carlos Checa on the satellite Althea Ducati made the factory
team look silly, carding a second and a fifth. The Xerox factory boys
of Haga and Fabrizio managed only 7-9 and 4-3 finishes. It’s not
that a podium in this field is anything to be ashamed of, but the
factory bikes should be noticeably faster than the customer machines,
and it’s just not happening this year.

standings after eight of 13 Events (16 of 26 races);

Max Biaggi, Italy, Alitalia Aprilia, 307 points; 2. Leon Haslam,
U.K., Alstare Suzuki, 270; 3. Carlos Checa, Spain, Althea Ducati,
172; 4. Jonathon Rea, Ireland, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, 158; 5.
Noriyuki Haga, Japan, Xerox Ducati, 151; 6.
Troy Corser, Australia, BMW Motorrad BMW, 149; 7. James Toseland,
U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, 138; 8. Michel Fabrizio, Italy, Xerox
Ducati, 131; 9. Leon Camier, U.K., Alitalia Aprilia, 130; 10. Cal
Crutchlow, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, 120.

event is at Brno in Czechoslovakia July 11.

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