Checa Doubles in Utah World Superbike

Henny Ray Abrams | May 30, 2011

TOOELE VALLEY, UT, MAY 30 – Althea Racing Ducati’s Carlos Checa totally vanquished the ghosts of Miller 2010 with a superb double World Superbike win on a cool, overcast day in Utah.The Spaniard had put the disappointment of last year’s double DNF behind him, but few others had. At the end of today’s second race at Miller Motorsports Park, the track was back in the good graces of Checa and his championship train was back on the tracks.In today’s first race Checa took a few laps to get to the front before pulling away to victory. The second race began and ended with Checa out front and more dominant than he had been earlier in the day.His lead grew quicker and stayed more robust to the end, so that when he crossed the line at the end of 21 laps his cushion was 7.194 secs. over Aprilia Alitalia’s Leon Camier. Camier’s teammate Max Biaggi rode in a bit of a fog to third place, 1.6 seconds back.

The reigning World Champion wasn’t entirely focused after being taken down by Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea, whose Honda CBR1000RR broke Biaggi’s helmet in two places and briefly knocked him unconscious. With five of 13 rounds completed, Checa holds a commanding 61 point lead, 195-134, over Yamaha’s Marco Melandri, sixth in the second race after finishing 10th in race one. Biaggi is one point behind Melandri after a DNF-3 day.The nature of the 3.048-mile MMP Perimeter Course favors the Ducatis and punishes the inline-fours. The top three finishers in the second race was a Ducati and two V-four Aprilias and the best of the rest was Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty. Coming off his double win in Monza, Laverty finished 14 seconds behind Checa and narrowly in front of Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio. Fabrizio had been taken out in race one by Castrol Honda’s Ruben Xaus.Yamaha’s Melandri was next, then came the two other podium finishers from race one; Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz. Smrz was second in the first race and Guintoli third in his first World Superbike podium appearance.The first BMW wasn’t one of the factory bikes – Leon Haslam was 13th and Troy Corser crashed out – but BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini. The Italian was a second in front of the first Kawasaki of Tom Sykes and two in front of Rea, who finished 11th in race two after his race one DNF.


1. Carlos Checa (Ducati)

2. Leon Camier (Aprilia)

3. Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

4. Michael Laverty (Yamaha)

5. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)

6. Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

7. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)

8. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

9. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)

10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.