WSB: King Carlos back on top
CARLOS Checa was back to his best as he took the win in the second World Superbike Championship race at Assen.
The championship leader extended his points tally after beating reigning champ Max Biaggi across the line at the end of the 22-lap race.
Third man home was Race One winner Jonathan Rea, closely follwed by Biaggi's Alitalia team-mate Leon Camier.
At the green light it was the PATA Racing Team Aprilia of Samurai of Slide Noriyuki Haga who got the best start and led the first two laps. Biaggi had jumped up to third and had passed Checa in the opening lap to second.
But by Lap Three Checa was ready to fight back. Firstly he made a clean sweep past Biaggi and a handful of corners later flew past Haga and into the lead.
Behind it was all shaking up nicely as Marco Melandri was on charge, passing his Yamaha team-mate Eugene Laverty and closing in on Rea. Biaggi made it past Haga who then found himself down in fifth and falling fast.
Rea had found himself comfortable in third with Melandri closing in, giving Checa and Biaggi the chance to take off at the front. Biaggi stuck close to the Spaniard's Althea Racing Ducati, always looking like he may be about to make a move.
The inevitable pass came as the pair headed into the start of Lap 20, as Checa went a bit wide coming out of the chicane giving the Roman Emperor a chance to squeeze through and into the lead.
But his reign was short lived, as a determined Checa got the place back in exactly the same spot a lap later in a bold move. With the pair now on their final lap, there was nothing the Roman could do to stop Checa taking the spoils again.
Rea took a solid third, but fourth went to Camier after a sterling ride which saw him slice through the field lap after lap to finally reach fifth spot after passing fellow Brit and namesake Leon Haslam on Lap Nine.
Then, on Lap 17, Melandri crashed out from fourth place, leaving Camier with a clear track and a safe fourth place.
Checa, who had opted to run the softer rear tyre in this second race, was pleased with his choice. "It is fantastic, this race was amazing," he beamed. "At the end of the race there was a question mark over how the tyre was going to last, I was trying to put some gap between Max and me but he was riding strong.
"I make some mistake and he overtook me, and I try to overtake him again. When I got the opportunity I made it. I pushed as hard as I could on the last lap and I was able to finish first.
"Winning here after coming third in first race was a big surprise and I take big satisfaction."
Biaggi added that he was pleased with his second P2 of the day and fourth of the season. "it was a good performance for us. The Aprilia team make very good set up for me.
"After the crash yesterday we had some question marks so we try to improve the bike but still it wasn't perfect because we couldn't find a tyre to suit it. We had only one choice but it was enough to do a great race.
"I was struggling more than Carlos, we did the maximum we could do and I am pleased with result for sure. Congratulations to Carlos, he made a good race and I appreciate my second place and hope to get back in number one position very soon."
Checa remains in command of the championship with 132 points, while today's results sees Biaggi move back to second with 89, just four ahead of Melandri on 85.
*Images by Iain Kemp
World Superbike Championship Assen Race Two Result:
1. Carlos Checaâ(Althea Racing)âDucati 1098Râ35'38.693
2. Max Biaggiâ(Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)âAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ35'39.217
3. Jonathan Reaâ(Castrol Honda)âHonda CBR1000RRâ35'42.277
4. Leon Camierâ(Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team)âAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ35'44.606
5. Leon Haslamâ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)âBMW S1000 RRâ35'55.609
6. Eugene Lavertyâ(Yamaha World Superbike Team)âYamaha YZF R1â35'56.068
7. Michel Fabrizioâ(Team Suzuki Alstare)âSuzuki GSX-R1000â35'56.433
8. Noriyuki Hagaâ(PATA Racing Team Aprilia)âAprilia RSV4 Factoryâ35'57.022
9. Jakub Smrzâ(Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)âDucati 1098Râ35'57.071
10. Sylvain Guintoliâ(Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing)âDucati 1098Râ35'57.097
11. Tom Sykesâ(Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike)âKawasaki ZX-10Râ36'04.977
12. Joan Lascorzâ(Kawasaki Racing Team)âKawasaki ZX-10Râ36'05.746
13. Maxime Bergerâ(Supersonic Racing Team)âDucati 1098Râ36'17.307
14. Ruben Xausâ(Castrol Honda)âHonda CBR1000RRâ36'19.517
15. Ayrton Badoviniâ(BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)âBMW S1000 RRâ36'19.646
16. Roberto Rolfoâ(Team Pedercini)âKawasaki ZX-10Râ36'19.675
17. Barry Venemanâ(BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team)âBMW S1000 RRâ36'24.116
18. Mark Aitchisonâ(Team Pedercini)âKawasaki ZX-10Râ36'45.657
RT. Marco Melandriâ(Yamaha World Superbike Team)âYamaha YZF R1â25'56.759
RT. Troy Corserâ(BMW Motorrad Motorsport)âBMW S1000 RRâ11'29.069