Memorial Day saw 48,000 enthusiastic fans treated to a double win from a rider who was robbed of a double last year by simple bad luck Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati). The Spaniard, who entered this event as championship leader, had a dose of good luck this time as his two main rivals had difficult raceday experiences. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) was tenth and then sixth, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) crashed out of race one after colliding with Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda). Reigning champion Biaggi recovered good ground in race two, ultimately earning a third-place finish.
The podium in race one was a Ducati whitewash, with privateer Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli securing second and third-places respectively. Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier beat him to second in race two as the tall Englishman took his second podium of the season. Fourth-place in the championship is now held by Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike) with his fifth and fourth-place finishes in Monday’s races, lifting him above both Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) and Rea.
“Just a few dry practice sessions on Saturday gave WSBK teams a limited possibility to set up their machines, since Sunday qualifying saw a constant downpour of rain,” said Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director of Pirelli Moto.
“Hard-compound SCR2 Diablo Rain tires were supplied in order to guarantee excellent performance on this wet abrasive track and to keep riders’ confidence in such difficult conditions, considering the need for numerous changes in traction control settings," Barbier continued.
Cold temperatures overnight made for a cold but drying track for morning warm-up, but the cloud break showed promise. It was pole sitter and best lap winner Carlos Checa (Ducati) who used his Diablo Superbike SC1 tires to lap consistently in the 1’49 and 1’50s, finally earning a 2.7 second win over Ducati riders Smrz and Guintoli, the latter his first podium of the season.
Race 2 brought only one tire change by Lascorz (Kawasaki) who switched to the A front, although many discussed changes with the sun out and a warming track. Aprilia riders Camier and Biaggi came back to fight in Race 2 for a 2nd and 3rd place finish, but double-winner Checa (Ducati) set the best lap of 1’48.827 and repeated his excellent results of three years ago at Miller Motorsports Park. Biaggi was preceded by Laverty (Yamaha) and Fabrizio (Suzuki) to make 4 manufacturers in the top five.
In the overall championship points standings, Checa has 195, Melandri 134, Biaggi 133, Laverty 109, Haslam 95, Rea 94 and Camier 91.
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