Double Max: Biaggi Takes Two

Paul Carruthers | March 28, 2010

Aprilia’s Max Biaggi did it again in race two in Portugal today, the Italian ace again beating Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam to the line – this time by just. 191 of a second. And this time there were four riders battling to the flag with Sterilgarda Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow bouncing back from his race-one crash to finish a shadow third with Althea Ducati’ s Carlos Checa just a second behind Biaggi in fourth.Biaggi did most of the leading, though it was always close. In the end he led 16 of the 22 laps and the most important one. Haslam was with him for the duration and ended up leading five times across the stripe, including laps 17 through 20. But Biaggi took over to lead the 21st and 22nd laps. Crutchlow and Checa were also in the battle for the long haul, though Checa had more work to do after finishing the first lap in seventh.The other rider to take a turn at the front was Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea, but the Northern Irishman only managed to finish seven laps before he was out of the running with a blown motor on his CBR1000RR. To make things even more miserable for the Honda team, Max Neukirchner could only muster up a 15th-place finish.Fifth place went to Biaggi’s teammate Leon Camier, the young Brit fighting through and closing on the lead quartet in the final laps. He ended up just 3.1 seconds adrift of the foursome at the front for his second fifth place of the day.Sterilgarda Yamaha’s James Toseland ended up sixth after holding off Althea Ducati’s Shane Byrne. Those two were comfortable clear of a battle between Xerox Ducati’s Noriyuki Haga, Alstare Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli and BMW’s Troy Corser. Haga ended up getting the spot, just half a second ahead of Guintoli. Corser faded from the battle late in the race to finish 10th.Roger Lee Hayden improved his position from race one by a single spot, finishing 17th on the Pedercini Kawasaki.Biaggi’s perfect day in Portimao and his first double World Superbike win pushed him up to second in the championship and the Italian now trails Haslam by 16 points. Checa is third, 25 points behind Haslam and 14 ahead of Michel Fabrizio, who ended his day with two 11th-place finishes.Haga, who battled Ben Spies to the very last race in last year’s championship, is fifth in the standings – a whopping 42 points behind Haslam.”It is great to get my first double win in World Superbike,” Biaggi said. “The feeling is great and the first double win of anybody this year so I feel confident and we are in a good rhythm. We go to Valencia next and we will ask very much of ourselves there as well. We had good speed down the straight today, but if you saw how fast we could exit the last corner then you would know it was not just the engine. Our bike is fast but other bikes are also fast.”

Race 2

1.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

2.                  Leon Haslam (Suzuki)

3.                  Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha)

4.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

5.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia)

6.                  James Toseland (Yamaha)

7.                  Shane Byrne (Ducati)

8.                  Noriyuki Haga (Ducati)

9.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki)

10.                  Troy Corser (BMW)17. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.