Checa Bounces Back In Race Two

Cycle News Staff | March 27, 2011

Just when you thought that the Carlos Checa freight train might be veering off the tracks after a third-place finish in race one, the Spanish veteran showed that the train is headed exactly where he wants it to go with a resounding victory in race two at Donington Park.Checa won his third race in four starts this season with a calculated victory over race-one winner Marco Melandri. Checa started out in second place behind BMW’s Leon Haslam before moving to the lead on the second lap. From there he was never headed, the 38-year-old gapping the field by a tenth of a second here, a few tenths there. Once he got the lead to three seconds on the ninth of 23 laps, he kept it there until slowing near the end and allowing Melandri to get to within two seconds. Then Melandri threw in the towel and the gap was 3.3 seconds as they crossed the finish line.Aprilia’s Leon Camier finished third, his first podium since Silverstone last year. Camier was second for a handful of laps late in the race before giving the spot back to Melandri. The Brit ended up 5.9 seconds behind Checa at the finish.Fourth went to early leader Haslam, the Brit making a mistake on the ninth lap that sent him from fourth to seventh, but he made a steady climb back to pass fifth-place finisher Joan Lascorz late in the race. It was rookie Lascorz best finish to date on the factory Kawasaki ZX10R. Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea was sixth, just a few tenths ahead of Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio.Jakub Smrz, who was second in race one behind Melandri, was eighth in race two, some three seconds ahead of Ayrton Baldovini. Castrol Honda’s Ruben Xaus rounded out the top 10 finishers.It was a dreadful race for World Champion Max Biaggi, the Aprilia man jumping the start and then ignoring his call for a ride-through penalty. He was excluded from the results and finds himself in a giant hole early in the season in regard to defending his title. Biaggi now trails Checa by 42 points in the championship.Checa leads the point standings by 19 over Melandri, 91-72, with Haslam third with 53 points.Seven different brands of motorcycles made up the top seven in race two – Ducati, Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki.

Race Two

1.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

2.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

3.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia)

4.                  Leon Haslam (BMW)

5.                  Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)

6.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

7.                  Michael Fabrizio (Suzuki)

8.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

9.                  Ayrton Baldovini (BMW)

10.                  Ruben Xaus (Honda)