Italy’s Max Biaggi has kept up his winning form in the World Superbike Championships with another outright result, this time at the eighth round of 13 in the series at Misano at the weekend.
This moved the Aprilia rider further ahead in the championship standings, now 37 points ahead of Britain’s Leon Haslam.
In front of 69,000 fans, Biaggi was eventual winner after some early flurries of overtaking activity, but Superpole winner Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) was a co-star in race one, leading for 16 laps before yielding to Biaggi, then finishing third.
Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) fought back from eighth in race one to go second in race two, and keep Biaggi in his sights for the final five rounds of the year. In the overall championship Biaggi has 307 points, Haslam 270 and Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati) 172.
Biaggi took his seventh win of the season in race 1, finally overtaking long time leader Corser and then proving able to hold off Checa’s Ducati in the final laps. Checa was second, Corser third, the top three veteran riders covered by only 0.822 seconds at the flag. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) was fourth, Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) fifth. Leon Camier, on the second Aprilia RSV4, was an eventually lonely sixth. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) ended race one seventh after working hard at Misano; Haslam a disappointed eighth, having some technical set-up issues that held back his possible charge. Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) and James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) were ninth and tenth respectively.
“I’m obviously happy with this victory,” Biaggi said afterwards.
“Especially so because I didn’t expect it and because doing so well in Italy, in front of our supporters has a very special flavour for us. The conditions are difficult because of the lack of grip. Already after five or six laps I started to drift.
“After overtaking Troy, I tried to push as hard as possible because I saw that the times were still high, but I couldn’t shake him or Checa because the risk for mistakes was too high.”
Race one result:
1.Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’59.319 (156,082 kph);
2. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 0.387;
3. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 0.822;
4. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 4.911;
5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 5.916;
6. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 8.658;
7. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 11.872;
8. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 11.907;
9. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 16.490;
10. Toseland J. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 18.458;
11. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 18.646;
12. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 19.315;
13. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 25.405;
14. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 31.671;
15. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 39.658;
16. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 48.137;
17. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 56.316;’
18. Sandi F. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 56.667;
19. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 57.218.
Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) was in unbeatable form in race two, surviving some hard early passing moves by his main rivals to get clear of the pack and push on to win, easing up across the line, by 4.095 seconds.
This was double number four for the season.
Haslam was a committed second after changing his machine and rear tyre as he attempted to halt Biaggi’s championship surge. Fabrizio returned to some of his best form by going third, holding off the determined Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda). Checa was fifth after being ambushed in the early laps, Guintoli sixth and Byrne seventh. Luca Scassa was an impressive eighth for the local Supersonic Ducati Team, with Haga ninth and early leader Corser tenth after losing ten seconds in one lap.
“In such a tough and well balanced championship, all of the victories are earned with hard work and sweat,” said Biaggi.
“In race two, to be honest, maybe I rode … pushing the envelope a bit, maybe even risking too much. But on the other hand, without risk there is no gain! This race represents a crucial moment for us and for our season we are coming out with our heads held high. As always I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart: from the guys on the team to our supporters. Victories like this never happen by chance and these ones in particular are well deserved by a large family which works together toward a common goal”
Race two result:
1. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 38’58.149 (156,16 kph);
2. Haslam L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 4.095;
3. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 4.631;
4. Crutchlow C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R1 5.014;
5. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 6.256;
6. Guintoli S. (FRA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 7.677;
7. Byrne S. (GBR) Ducati 1098R 10.144;
8. Scassa L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 10.942;
9. Haga N. (JPN) Ducati 1098R 13.640;
10. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 16.279;
11. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 17.799;
12. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 22.793;
13. Lanzi L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 24.131;
14. Neukirchner M. (GER) Honda CBR1000RR 28.212;
15. Vermeulen C. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX 10R 36.551;
16. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX 10R 49.636;
17. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR1000RR 50.041;
18. Hayden R. (USA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 51.246;
19. Baiocco M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX 10R 58.174;
20. Sandi F. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 1000 1’10.588
Points (after 8 rounds of 13):
1. Biaggi 307;
2. Hslam 270;
3. Checa 172;
4. Rea 158;
5. Haga 151;
6. Corser 149;
7. Toseland 138;
8. Fabrizio 131;
9. Camier 130 70;
10. Crutchlow 120.
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) got the better of his peers at Misano and in taking another win he went back into the lead in the championship.
Pole man Michele Pirro (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) crashed out of contention early on, leaving Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Motocard.com) to finish second. Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) could have taken that runner-up position but ran off line or off track on several occasions, and finished third.
Britain’s Gino Rea had an awesome start on the Intermoto Czech Honda machine but was taken out in the collision with Pirro.
In the championship, Laverty now has 161 points, Sofuoglu has 158, and Lascorz 148.
1. Laverty E. (IRL) Honda CBR600RR 36’46.369 (151,697 kph); 2. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.876; 3. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Honda CBR600RR 6.557; 4. Davies C. (GBR) Triumph Daytona 675 12.815; 5. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 12.927; 6. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 14.248; 7.Roccoli M. (ITA) Honda CBR600RR 19.641; 8. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 24.360; 9. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 36.260; 10. Salom D. (ESP) Triumph Daytona 675 36.598;
Points (after 8 rounds of 13): 1. Laverty 161; 2. Sofuoglu 158; 3. Lascorz 148; 4. Davies 97; 5. Salom 64; 6.Harms 61; 7. Pirro 58; 8. Rea 54.
© Photo courtesy Aprilia