WSBK: 2010 Utah results

Biaggi takes points lead as Checa suffers from bad luck

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 01, 2010
Max Biaggi swept both ends of the World Superbike round in Utah to take over the lead in the championship standings.

The Aprilia Alitalia rider earned his third double of the campaign as the season to move 15 points ahead of Suzuki Alstare’s Leon Haslam as the season reaches its half-way point at Miller Motorsports Park.

Biaggi benefited from some horrible luck for Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa who was the fastest rider all weekend and held significant leads in both races before his bike twice failed on him.

Race One Highlights

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Race One began with Superpole winner Checa and the two Aprilias RSV4 riders, Biaggi and teammate Leon Camier heading the pack. Checa and Biaggi soon separated themselves while Camier dueled with BMW’s Troy Corser.

Checa held the lead for 17 of the first 18 laps, with a 3.232 second lead on lap 18. With three laps remaining, however, Checa unexpectedly began to slow down, finally stopping with an electronic problem. Biaggi was left all alone in front and he easily cruised to the finish to win by just under five seconds.

“I think Checa deserved that race because he rode very hard,” says Biaggi. “Honestly speaking he deserved it but racing is racing and sometimes these things happen. This time it was our turn. We had a very good pace and I am happy for me, my team and Aprilia.”

Carlos Checa (7) had the pace to sweep both races but technical problems stopped him twice, giving Max Biaggi the double.

Meanwhile, Haslam moved past Camier on lap 16 for third place, moving up to second upon Checa’s retirement. Haslam finished second to maintain a 242-232 lead over Biaggi.

Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga also passed Camier to take third, his first podium result since winning Race Two in the Valencia round on April 11.

“I have not had a good result at this track in the two previous years so I am happy to take third place,” says Haga. “From the first lap my tire feeling was not so good and I adjusted my riding style and I was happy to be able to finish third.”

Race Two Highlights

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Race Two began with another strong start for Checa and the two Aprilia riders. Corser was also in the mix as was his BMW teammate Ruben Xaus who moved up to fifth from ninth on the grid.

As he did in Race One, Checa expanded his lead over Biaggi, this time to nearly two seconds. History continued to repeat itself however and Checa’s Ducati came to a stop on lap eight, this time with a mechanical problem.

Checa’s retirement moved BIaggi into the lead with Corser in second followed by Camier. Corser stayed in second for a few laps before losing ground first to Camier and soon after Yamaha Sterilgarda’s Cal Crutchlow and Haga.

Biaggi crossed the finish nearly six seconds ahead of Camier for a one-two finish for Aprilia. Crutchlow beat out Haga and Corser for his third podium of the season.

Haslam crashed out on lap eight, scoring no points and losing the championship lead to Biaggi. Haslam arrived in Utah with a 15 point lead and leaves trailing by the same margin.

Noriyuki Haga showed some improvement at Miller Motorsports Park. With 29 points, it was his best weekend since the Valencia round April 11.

Despite retiring from both races in the lead, Checa can find some solace in knowing he had to pace to win, setting a new track record in Race One. Checa has had some success at Miller Motorsports Park in the past, taking the double at the track’s WSBK debut in 2008.

“Everything went well: the work, the preparation, the performance, the passion, the race, the team,” says Checa. “Yet unfortunately the results did not come. It’s never happened before! We were strong and I will leave here with my head held high. I will immediately turn the page and concentrate on the upcoming tests in Misano and the next race, where I know we can do well. That’s racing …”

The 2010 WSBK season continues June 27 at Italy’s Misano Circuit.