Scramble continues for WSBK crown

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Max Biaggi retired on top. Now, who will replace him?
Biaggi is back on top, but if Melandri can stay on the track in Portugal, the standings can change very quickly.

Max Biaggi is atop the WSBK standings again, despite a weekend of mixed results.

Marco Melandri crashed out in both of the weekend’s races.

Biaggi took the first win of this weekend’s double-header at Nurburgring; he went in to the weekend with 290 points, to leader Marco Melandri’s 308.5. He won Superpole, then tucked in behind Tom Sykes in Race 1, following until lap 12, when he pulled in front and worked his way to the win, and a load of points. Melandri, meanwhile, was busy crashing out; that left Biaggi in the lead with 325 points after Race 1 – not a bad weekend’s work.

Race 2 didn’t go so well for the Roman Emperor; he ended up crashing his Aprilia on the first lap. He battled back, though, and pulled off a 13th-place finish – once again ahead of Melandri, who crashed again in Race 2, allowing Biaggi to extend his lead further.

It was a fantastic weekend for Chaz Davies also; he got his first WSBK win, and then announced his signing with the BMW factory team. Photo WSBK

Chaz Davies, meanwhile, had a fantastic weekend aboard the ParkinGO MTC Aprilia. He bagged a third-place finish in Race 1, (Eugene Laverty took second in both of the weekend’s races), then took the victory in Race 2. Then, BMW announced they’d signed him to their factory team, alongside Marco Melandri. Not bad for a rookie! Of course, that means Ben Spies won’t be getting this ride. It also puts a question on Leon Haslam’s future (7th in Race 1, DNF in Race 2 due to a crash); rumour has him going to Honda.

Third place in Race 2 went to FIXI Crescent’s Leon Camier aboard his Suzuki GSX-R 1000; he was the only podium winner all weekend who wasn’t aboard an Aprilia. He’d taken fifth place in Race 1.

After his strong start in Race 1, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes ended up with a fourth-place finish in Race 1, and a fifth-place finish in Race 2, behind fourth-place Jonathon Rea (Honda), who’d earned a DNF in Race 1 after crashing. Sykes and teammate Loris Baz both crashed in Race 1; Baz didn’t manage to return, but did nab an eight-place finish in Race 2.

Brett McCormick’s weekend was a mixed bag of results, but he’s positive about the next race at Portugal. Photo: Liberty Racing

This weekend was also Canadian Brett McCormick’s first WSBK race after crashing badly this spring. He raced to a 15th-place finish in Race 1 and earned his first WSBK point, but got a DNF in Race 2, when mechanical problems forced him off the track.

“The neck has not given me problems and I really enjoyed it,” McCormick said after the race. “For the last two races we will have fun. We are ready for Portimao. I know that track and now we have the basis for the setting of the next race.”

McCormick’s team, Liberty Racing, continued their off-track hijinks; before Race 1, they announced they were letting rider Jakub Smrz go, replacing him with Italian Lorenzo Lanzi; the team already ditched Sylvain Guintoli and skipped the Moscow round due to “reorganizing.” The word on the street is that the team is financial trouble. Hopefully McCormick won’t have this stuff going on in the background next season.

World Superbike series standings after 13 of 14 events (23 of 27 races)

1. Max Biaggi, Italy, Aprilia Racing Team, 318
2. Marco Melandri, Italy, BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 308.5 points
3. Tom Sykes, U.K., Kawasaki Racing Team, 291.5
4. Carlos Checa, Spain, Althea Ducati, 247.5
5. Jonathon Rea, U.K., Castrol Ten Kate Honda, 225.5
6.  Eugene Laverty, U.K., Aprilia Racing Team, 213.5
7. Leon Haslam, U.K., BMW Motorrad Motorsport, 189
8. Chaz Davies, ParkinGO MTC Aprilia, 156.5
9. Sylvain Guintoli, France, PATA Ducati, 143.5
10. Davide Giugliano, Italy, Althea Ducati, 125.

Next race: Portimao, Sept. 23

5 COMMENTS

  1. Have you asked if brett is funding his ride? No you have not. No he is not. Printing heresay is garbage journalism. You know brett and could ask him directly. Or me. Shame on cmg.

    • Grant, rhis wasn’t Larry today, I was filling in for him. I’m very genuinely sorry if this is insulting. I took this to mean he had found his own sponsors, that’s all, not that he “bought his ride” – he obviously doesn’t have to do that. I actually wanted to try to contact you for an explanation but I don’t have your contact information, and when I’ve tried to contact Brett via Facebook, I haven’t received a reply.

      • Maybe I’m an idiot. Maybe. But, I did not read anywhere, where it was implied
        that Brett had “Bought his ride”.

        I do know, though, that I am no longer such a fan.

        After the third instance of reading about the ‘stage-mother’, I am
        rather off the McCormick clan. Somewhat puts me in mind of Bonnie
        and Karl Lindros.

        Sadly, Brett has lost a fan. ‘Course, Jakob Smrz has delighted moi.

        Time to go back to MotoGP seulement. The hill-billys have spoken.

        • gpfan, the story was edited – it originally said that McCormick and Berger were funding their own rides.

          We’ll try to clear this up. But don’t jump on anyone’s back just yet, please. Mine, or anyone else’s …

          • Hello, Zac. Was certainly NOT jumping on your back. However, other sources
            have pointed out the “protective” or “intrusive” nature of Brett’s coterie.

            I have a pal at work that has dealt with Brett’s former Canadian team
            due to a business deal. This person claims that Brett’s ‘inclusives’ were
            rather ‘intrusive’.

            Funny, how we have never seen or heard interviews with the families of,
            oh, Mario Lemieux or Guy Lafleur. Let Brett speak for Brett.

            His daddy beaking-off is just an example of rather un-British or
            un-Canadian behaviour.

            I am a Scot. Why we read comments from Grant is confusing. Brett is a
            big boy. Let him pipe up. That is why I responded to you, and not the
            first person to post.

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