love this place!" said Max Biaggi at Brno in the Czech Republic.
"Knowing the track quite well here and the passion of the fans
… we tried something really special and made some changes on the
bike, weight distribution and gearbox and the result was very good so
I’m happy. For me it’s the 10th victory here, and this is
my second home country."
have to consider the "second country" thing simple post-race
exuberance, considering that the Italian lives in California and
Monaco when he’s not back in Rome. Still, with his lead in the WSB
series ratcheting higher every weekend, you can see why he’d be a
happy camper over his 2-1 finishes at Brno last weekend.
changes Biaggi referred to were made to his RSV4 between races; in
the first contest he’d had nothing for Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s
Jonathon Rea, albeit he still took a strong second after a great run
back from fourth place despite not feeling quite happy with the bike.
In the second contest, Rea led briefly, but the changes to the
Aprilia seemed to have done the trick and once Biaggi got back he
just motored off for a comfortable win. Rea just shook his head,
saying, "Max did an unbelievable pace … but anyway it’s been a
good weekend with a 1-2 today."
was an overdue good weekend of the year for Rea. His Honda has been
suffering from front-end maladies since early in the season, and
whether the team’s found something or the fast, flowing Brno track
suited it is moot. No doubt the next race in the U.K. at Silverstone
will provide a clue on that.
places went to Cal Crutchlow on the Sterilgarda Yamaha (who’d taken
the Superpole award this weekend) and Xerox Ducati’s Michel
Fabrizio. Crutchlow wasn’t happy with his day, losing some time to
a failing rear tire in the first race that dropped him off chasing
Rea, finally to also fall victim to Biaggi; then in the second race
the rear tire was so bad he pitted to change it. He had some minor
consolation in setting fastest lap in both races.
Haslam, second in the points on his Alstare Suzuki, had a disastrous
weekend, collecting only an eighth and a 10th for his
efforts. "It’s hard to say how disappointed and frustrated I am
today. I’m trying to think what positives we can take from this
weekend and my comment is … none," the young Brit sighed. Pirelli
introduced a new tire design at the previous race, and Haslam says
that they simply can’t figure out how to make the bike work with
sharp contrast, his French team-mate Sylvain Guintoli had his best
results of the year, with a seventh and a fourth.
carries a huge lead into the Silverstone race, and while Haslam is
still a long way ahead of Rea, their current form indicates that the
Briton and the Irishman may be close by season’s end — which
isn’t that far off, as only four weekends are left on the 13-event
climb up the ladder came to a halt in Brno, as team leader Troy
Corser high-sided himself into the hospital in practice (he expects
to be okay for the next race), and while team-mate Ruben Xaus stepped
up his game he could only manage a fifth in race one, then crashed out
of a fairly safe third in the second race. He’s got to be talking
to other people about a job next season, since it’s unlikely BMW is
going to want him back.
race, Silverstone in the U.K., August 1.
after nine of 13 events (18 of 26 races)
Max Biaggi, Italy, Alitalia Aprilia, 352 points; 2. Leon Haslam,
U.K., Alstare Suzuki, 284; 3. Jonathon Rea, U.K., Hannspree Ten Kate
Honda, 203; 4. Carlos Checa, Spain, Althea Ducati, 189; 5. Noriyuki
Haga, Japan, Xerox Ducati, 172;
James Toseland, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, 160; 7. Troy Corser,
Australia, BMW Motorrad, 149; 8. Michel Fabrizio, Italy, Xerox
Ducati, 147; 9. TIE, Leon Camier, U.K. Alitalia Aprilia, Cal
Crutchlow, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, Sylvain Guitoli, France, Alstare