Monday, May 9, 2011

Laverty doubles Monza World Superbike

From the WSBK Press Office

Monza lived up to its reputation for thrills and excitement yet again as a crowd of 116,500 watched Eugene Laverty win both 18-lap World Superbike Championship races in sun-kissed conditions on Sunday.

Laverty was a clear winner in race one, upsetting the pre-race form that had Max Biaggi down as a strong favourite for a double race victory. In race two Biaggi was on for the win at his home track but in making a misjudgment and cutting the first chicane he did not follow the rules about keeping to a certain line and re-entering the track only at permitted areas. For this infringement he was given a ride-through penalty. His hopes of the win were over after losing significant amounts of time because of his ride-through, and he ended up eighth.

Biaggi’s misfortune allowed the two Yamaha World Superbike riders Marco Melandri and Laverty to fight it out right to the flag, with Laverty winning and Melandri second after an audacious pass into the Parabolica. Michel Fabrizio was third in race two, on his Alstare Suzuki.

“I can’t believe I got a double victory here today," Laverty beamed. "My aim coming here this weekend was to get a podium and I came away with two wins."

World Championship leader Carlos Checa also had a dramatic day, as he scored points in each race, but was lucky to finish the second as he went from sixth to 10th when his machine developed a sudden technical problem and a trail of blue smoke was visible from its exhaust. He had been ninth in race one.

Checa is still the leader of the championship, but the riders immediately behind him also had changeable fortunes after Monza. Leon Haslam was a podium man in race one, but a faller in race two, along with Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus.

In the championship standings Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) has 145 points, Melandri 118 and Biaggi 117. Rea is fourth with 89 points and Laverty is now fifth, on 85.

Behind the podium places, Melandri, Fabrizio and Rea filled the top six in race one, with Noriyuki Haga, Troy Corser and a jubilant Ayrton Badovini inside the top six in race two.

Sylvain Guintoli was seventh in race two for his Effenbert Liberty Ducati Team, the top single race Ducati finisher on the day.

Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) was on course for a podium but fell at high speed in race two.

A close opening race at times was turned into a cool-headed race win for Laverty as he stretched his rivals to breaking point in the final laps.

“That was a great race," Laverty said, "definitely not one of the easiest but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I just kept pushing to the top and my first win couldn’t have come at a better place.”

Biaggi and Haslam took the other podium places, after some tough passes and fights between that duo and fourth place rider Melandri.

“Second place is better than nothing but I was hoping to do a bit better," Biaggi admitted. "I got a good start but made some mistakes and then I was bothered with Leon. Eugene started to go away then I made another mistake so at the end of the day I settled for second place.”

Fabrizio had a strong ride on his Suzuki Alstare machine and set the fastest lap on his way to fifth place. Rea (Castrol Honda) held off Corser to earn himself a top six finish, 12 seconds from the winner.

Laverty won a last corner battle with his team-mate Melandri in the second 18-lap race at Monza but the bigger drama was the award of a ride-through penalty for long-time race leader Biaggi, for cutting a chicane in an incorrect fashion. He recovered to finish eighth.

"In race two I made an average start and two of the guys closed me in and I had to go back," Laverty explained. "There was a big crash in front of me, it was a hectic race. I was having trouble with the front tire, but when it came to the last few laps it was between me and Marco and I just couldn’t believe it.”

“It’s been a very tough weekend for me," Melandri conceded. "We’ve been trying to find a good set-up to make the bike stable. In the second race we made a big step further but the bike was very nervous at the end so I couldn’t race for the win. I tried to do my best but at the last corner I struggled with the gearbox, the rear tire locked and I lost.”

Third was Fabrizio, but only after a massive fight with Pata Aprilia rider Noriyuki Haga, who went fourth.

“It was a battle with Haga like the ones of a couple of years back," Fabrizio said. "I wanted the podium at all costs and we would surely have deserved it. Max had already gone away from the rest of the field, so I was settling for fourth place, but in racing it often happens that you can get a podium like that."

Fifth with a strong ride was Corser, Badovini a brilliant sixth and only 10 seconds from Laverty.

Joan Lascorz recovered from a race one crash to give Kawasaki ninth in race two, the best result of the day for the guys in green.

Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) won his second career World Supersport race in succession by leading home his team-mate Luca Scassa after 16 laps of the Monza circuit.

Behind the flying duo from the Italian based Yamaha team, Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) had an eventually lonely but impressive third place finish, some 7.9 seconds from Davies.

Behind the podium places, a race-long fight between four riders saw Broc Parkes (Kawasaki, Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda), Roberto Tamburini (Bike Service RT Yamaha) and Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) completed the top seven places. David Salom took an impressive eighth despite not having his best engine available, from another Kawasaki rider Massimo Roccoli.

Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) took a close Superstock 1000 win by only 0.065 seconds at Monza in a stopped and restarted race cut to only five laps duration. Michele Magnoni (Baru Racing Team BMW) was third and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) fourth. It was Zanetti’s first race win in this class.

Superbike Race One Results
1. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 31:09.584 (200,232km/h)
2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +1.575
3. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000RR +3.078
4. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 +3.255
5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 +11.812
6. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR +12.371
7. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000RR +13.280
8. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +17.419
9. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R +17.569
10. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R +18.420
Pirelli BEST LAP Award:
Michel Fabrizio (Team Suzuki Alstare), 1:43.275 (Lap 3)

Superbike Race Two Results
1. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF-R1 31:19.948 (199.128km/h)
2. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF-R1 +0.327
3. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 +2.466
4. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +2.583
5. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000RR +4.502
6. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000RR +10.865
7. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R +11.038
8. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory +18.724
9. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R +20.093
10. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R +20.376
Pirelli BEST LAP Award:
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing), 1:43.023 (Lap 4)

World Superbike Points
(after 4 of 13 rounds)
1. Checa 145
2. Melandri 118
3. Biaggi 117
4. Rea 89
5. Laverty 85
6. Haslam 84
7. Fabrizio 74
8. Camier 58
9. Smrz 55
10. Haga 47


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