WSB: King Carlos back on top

By Burning Rubber on Apr 17, 11 03:47 PM

checa2 - 300px.jpgCARLOS 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.checa 1 - 300px.jpg

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.rea1 - 300px.jpg

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."

biaggi6 - 300px.jpgBiaggi 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 Checa (Althea Racing) Ducati 1098R 35'38.693
2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 35'39.217
3. Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 35'42.277
4. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 35'44.606
5. Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 35'55.609
6. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha World Superbike Team) Yamaha YZF R1 35'56.068
7. Michel Fabrizio (Team Suzuki Alstare) Suzuki GSX-R1000 35'56.433
8. Noriyuki Haga (PATA Racing Team Aprilia) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 35'57.022
9. Jakub Smrz (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 35'57.071
10. Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing) Ducati 1098R 35'57.097
11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike) Kawasaki ZX-10R 36'04.977
12. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX-10R 36'05.746
13. Maxime Berger (Supersonic Racing Team) Ducati 1098R 36'17.307
14. Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) Honda CBR1000RR 36'19.517
15. Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) BMW S1000 RR 36'19.646
16. Roberto Rolfo (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 36'19.675
17. Barry Veneman (BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team) BMW S1000 RR 36'24.116
18. Mark Aitchison (Team Pedercini) Kawasaki ZX-10R 36'45.657
RT. Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) Yamaha YZF R1 25'56.759
RT. Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) BMW S1000 RR 11'29.069

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