Motor Sports

WSBK comes to a close at Portimao

Thursday October 13, 2011 by  

The 2011 Superbike World Championship concludes at Portimao in Portugal this weekend, with only one major loose end to be tied up — the battle for third overall between deposed world champion Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty.

Laverty currently holds the upperhand by just 2pts, but Biaggi – returning from injury after sitting out the last two rounds – is lighting fast at Portimao, having cleaned up in last year’s event.

The championship has already been won by Spain’s Carlos Checa (Ducati), with Laverty’s teammate Marco Melandri a certainty to finish second in his rookie year. Read more

Checa claims WSBK title in spectacular fashion

Monday October 3, 2011 by  

Spain’s Carlos Checa has stuck to his word, producing an authoritative performance to wrap up the 2011 world Superbike title at Magny-Cours overnight.

Even though title success was virtually assured in advance, Checa had vowed that he wasn’t going to break stride in France, and that’s what transpired when he romped to his fifth clean sweep of the season.

Checa is now the first Spaniard to win the WSBK title, while it was the 14th solo victory for Ducati. Read more

World Superbike title in Checa’s sights

Thursday September 22, 2011 by  

Carlos Checa’s reward for an irresistible 2011 world Superbike season could come early this weekend, with the Spaniard an outside chance to wrap up the championship in Italy with two rounds still remaining.

Ducati-mounted Checa is currently a 74pt leader over Yamaha’s Marco Melandri, and if he comes out all guns blazing at Imola – just like in 2010 when he swept both races – he will go a long way towards wrapping up proceedings irrespective of results at the final two rounds in France and Portugal.

But Melandri is also a proven big-time performer and, on the evidence of testing at Misano last week when he finished on top of the timesheets, the Italian is more than capable of taking the fight to his Spanish rival when action resumes at Imola. Read more

Sykes lands rare victory for Kawasaki

Monday September 5, 2011 by  

Ducati rider Carlos Checa took another significant step towards claiming this year’s world superbike title at Nurburgring in Germany overnight.

The Spaniard carved out a perfectly executed victory in race one – his 11th of the year – before adopting a more cautious approach in race two after the heavens opened, delivering a track that ranged from merely wet to soaking and treacherous.

While Yorkshireman Tom Sykes produced Kawasaki’s first WSBK victory since 2006 in the shortened 13-lapper, Checa splashed his way to eighth and is now 74pts in front of second-placed Marco Melandri (Yamaha) with three rounds – and a maximum of 150pts – remaining. Read more

Back to business at Germany’s Nurburgring

Wednesday August 31, 2011 by  

Australia's Troy Corser at Nürburgring, Germany during the 2010 World Superbike Championship series. (Photo credit: Graeme Brown/GeeBee Images)
Australia’s Troy Corser at Nürburgring, Germany during the 2010 World Superbike Championship series.
Photo courtesy of Graeme Brown/GeeBee Images

The German round of the 2011 Superbike World Championship at Nürburgring (rd 10) this weekend may have come at the perfect time for Australia’s Troy Corser.

Determined to stem the tide after what has been a challenging year for the double world champion, Corser is returning to a circuit where he was supremely fast in regulation qualifying in 2010 before things began to unravel with a crash in Superpole, and then another incident in race one.

But he showed more than enough raw speed on his factory BMW around the undulating 5.137km layout – one of the championship’s real showpieces – to suggest that he will give this year’s two 20-lap races a real shake. Read more

Checa produces a Silverstone classic

Monday August 1, 2011 by  

Carlos Checa celebrates his WBSK Round nine victory at Silverstone. (Photo Credit: Graeme Brown/SNAP Images)
Carlos Checa celebrates his WBSK Round nine victory at Silverstone.
Photo courtesy of Graeme Brown/SNAP Images

Spain’s Carlos Checa roared back into winning form at the Silverstone round of the 2011 world superbike title on July 31, taking both races to extend his lead out to a commanding 62pts with just four rounds remaining.

It was a day of milestones at the classic British circuit, with Checa bringing up Ducati’s 300th WSBK victory in race one – an imposing average of well over 12 race wins per year since 1988 — as well as recording 100 races himself in the production-based championship.

In both 18-lap races, Checa was joined by Yamaha teammates Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri on the podium, while the highlight for Australia was Troy Corser’s ninth on his factory BMW in race one.

“It was a wonderful day. I didn’t believe that it would be possible to win here, but we managed to do it twice over,” said Checa. “We have a good advantage for now, but as we all know it’s hard to build up points and easy to lose them. Read more

Corser back on deck for Silverstone

Thursday July 28, 2011 by  

Round nine of the 2011 Superbike World Championship will be held at Silverstone this weekend, featuring the return of veteran Australian campaigner Troy Corser on his factory BMW.

The 39-year-old two-time world champion has now fully recovered from a broken left arm, and his welcome reappearance will coincide with a cameo by countryman Karl Muggeridge, the 2004 world Supersport champion set to deputise for injured Honda rider Ruben Xaus.

However, Sunshine Coast rider Chris Vermeulen (Kawasaki) will be absent from Silverstone (a venue where he won his first ever WSBK race in 2004) as he’s still feeling the affects of an injured elbow that won’t see him race again until the next round at Nürburgring on September 4. Read more

Déjà vu as Melandri and Biaggi dominate

Monday July 11, 2011 by  

Fierce Italian rivals Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi have again trumped their rivals to dominate round eight of the 2011 Superbike World Championship at Brno in the Czech Republic on July 10.

In a repeat of the last round in Spain, the Yamaha-backed Melandri prevailed in race one ahead of the reigning world champion, before the tables were turned in the second instalment.

Spain’s Carlos Checa (Ducati) was a close third in both 20 lappers, and now leads the championship by just 30 points ahead of Biaggi (Aprilia) with five rounds still remaining. Read more

Italians dominate as Corser breaks arm

Monday June 20, 2011 by  

An already torrid 2011 world Superbike season for Troy Corser has now taken a turn for the worse after the Australian broke his arm in round seven of the championship at Aragon in Spain overnight.

After a solid 10th place in race one, Corser was cannoned into by another rider early in race two, which sent the two-time world champion straight to the medical centre where an x-ray showed that he had broken both the ulna and radius in his left forearm.

In WSBK’s first visit to Aragon, the two races were won by Marco Melandri (Yamaha) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) respectively, with championship leader Carlos Checa (Ducati) blotting his 2011 copybook with a crash in the opener. Read more

World Superbike heads to fresh pasture

Thursday June 16, 2011 by  

The Superbike World Championship heads into uncharted territory this weekend, when round seven is held at road racing’s newest centrepiece – Motorland Aragon in Spain.

And the fresh surroundings may have just come at the ideal time for Australia’s Troy Corser, who is now in the middle of a rocky road which has seen him finish just one of the last four races, for a best result of 13th.

The last round at Misano was particularly a bitter pill to swallow for the two-time world champion, who came out all guns blazing in practice on his factory BMW only to crash in opening qualifying, which left him with heavy bruising. The Wollongong ace tried to race, but he just wasn’t in a fit enough state for battle. Read more