Who Else But Checa

Cycle News Staff | February 26, 2011

Carlos Checa surprised absolutely no one by winning the first of two World Superbike races at Phillip Island, the Althea Ducati rider continuing the domination he’s shown since touching down in Australia.Checa was headed for two laps by Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty, but once he was through and into the lead on lap three, there was no stopping the Spaniard. He would end up cruising to a 4.3-second win over World Champion Max Biaggi, the Aprilia rider riding in solitude some six seconds ahead of BMW’s Leon Haslam, the Brit getting on the podium in his World Superbike debut with the German team.Haslam didn’t have it easy, though and he barely bested Laverty, Yamaha’s Marco Melandri in his first World Superbike race, and Alstare Suzuki’s Michael Fabrizio with the four of them within a second of each other after 22 laps of the flowing, fast and scenic Phillip Island.Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing’s Jakub Smrz was seventh with Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, Pata Racing Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga and BMW’s Tro Corser rounding out the top 10 finishers.Jonathan Rea was in the mix in the battle for what would be third, but he ran off the track on the 14th lap and faded to an eventual 12th on the Castrol Honda.

Race One

1.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

2.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

3.                  Leon Haslam (BMW)

4.                  Eugene Laverty (Yam)

5.                  Marco Melandri (Yam)

6.                  Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)

7.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

8.                  Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)

9.                  Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)

10.                  Troy Corser (BMW)