Althea Racing Ducati's Carlos Checa had a relatively uneventful ride to victory in race one today the Nurburgring in Germany, the Spaniard leading from start to finish and taking a giant step toward the World Superbike Championship as his closest rival, Max Biaggi, elected not to race after suffering a foot injury on Firday.Checa now leads the World Championship by a whopping 76 points over Marco Melandri, who took over the runner-up spot for the first time all season.Checa took the lead at he start and was challenged by two time Nurburgring winner Noriyuki Haga and Marco Melandri - with Haga even leading briefly. But it didn't last and Checa was able to pull away from his two pursuers to score his 11th win of the season and his fourth in a row.Melandri took over second from Haga on the sixth lap, but then ran off the track a lap later, allowing Haga through. By the 10th lap, Melandri was back past his teammate Eugene Laverty and he caught and passed Haga on the 16th lap.There was no catching Checa, however, and Melandri would have to settle for second with the Ducati rider taking the win by some two seconds after slowing his pace near the end.With Melandri third, Haga was able to hold on for third, matching is previous best from Misano earlier in the year.Laverty ended up fourth, a second clear of BMW's Leon Haslam in the team's home race.Sixth went to Sylvain Guintoli on the Team Efferbert-Liberty Racing Ducati, the Frenchman well clear of a battle that went to the end between Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz and Aprilia's Leon Camier, with Lascorz getting the nod at the finish.BMW Motorrad Italia's Ayrton Badovini was ninth with Castrol Honda's Jonathan Rea 10th in his return to racing from injury.Checa now leads Melandri in the title chase and not Biaggi - 368-292. Biaggi slips to third with 281 points - 60 points clear of Laverty.Superbike Race One

1.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

2.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha)

3.                  Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)

4.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)

5.                  Leon Haslam (BMW)

6.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)

7.                  Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)

8.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia)

9.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW)

10.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

 

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By Cycle News Staff

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