Silverstone (UK), Sunday 31st July 2011: the Althea Racing team and rider Carlos Checa had several reasons to celebrate today at the Silverstone circuit; the team has achieved the 300th Superbike race win for Ducati, followed by the 301st in race 2! The second race also gave the Spanish rider another reason to smile as it was his 100th Superbike start.
Checa made a strong start to race one and was fourth at the end of lap one. He fought with Haga for third position through the first laps and passed both him and Hopkins on the third. Giving chase to Laverty, he got past him on lap six to take the lead. By mid-race he had built up a two second lead over the Yamaha rider but did not slow his pace for anyone, continuing to put in some extremely fast lap times all the way to the line, to win with a 3.3 second advantage. Carlos also made the fastest lap of the race, obtaining his sixth Pirelli prize of the season.
The second race was also significant for the fact that is was championship leader Checa’s 100th race in World Superbike. The Althea Racing rider was fifth at the first corner but up to second by the end of the first lap. In the initial stages he battled hard to reach leader Laverty and was able to get by him on lap six, just as he had done in race one. From that point on, he worked hard to slowly increase his advantage and he defended his position perfectly. He crossed the line 2.2 seconds ahead of Laverty, to take another 25 points for the championship.
Thanks to today’s fantastic double win, Checa has extended his championship advantage to 62 points. He holds a total of 343 points to second-place Biaggi’s 281. Ducati continues to lead the manufacturer’s championship with 355 points to 320 of Yamaha and Aprilia.
“It was a wonderful day. I didn’t believe that it would be possible to win here, but we managed to do it twice over! To achieve the 300th win for Ducati is an important result and we are all very happy to have been able to repeat this in race two. I thank everyone involved, my team, Ducati and all the sponsors. I also heard that I have now completed 100 SBK races. I didn’t know this but the important thing is that I still feel young and am not yet 100 years old! We have a good advantage for now but as we all know, it is hard to build up points and easy to lose them. We now head to tracks where I have had some good results in the past but we are taking it one step at a time; nothing is a given. It’s been a fantastic weekend that I will remember forever. Now the team can go on holiday in a more relaxed state of mind.”
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager dof Althea Racing:
“A double win that gives us great satisfaction. We’ve achieved two wins at just the right time and they help increase our championship advantage. A true demonstration of strength by our rider who made the most of everything we have given him on a technical level. I would like to underline that it has been a difficult weekend from a media point of view; I think that our rivals should clarify their declarations as they continue to insist that they believe us to be at an advantage when the opposite is in fact true. What we bring to the floor is our strength as a team, a great rider and a bike that has less acceleration. We also lose at least 12km/h of top speed at every track. I would therefore like to see more respect being paid when it comes to the hard work of our team and our rider. We will continue to work to achieve our objectives and Ducati’s objective.”
Ernesto Marinelli, Superbike Project Director in Ducati
“Today was a memorable day for Ducati and for everyone that has shared in the years of passion, races and wins. We have crossed a line that no other manufacturer has every reached – 300 SBK wins… And now 301… In thanking all of the teams and riders that have made Ducati history, I also thank Carlos who, with his enormous talent, has added the victory that we needed in order to reach this milestone. Another big thank-you goes to Genesio and the entire Althea team for their passion, determination and professionalism that has led to such great results this year.”
RESULTS: Race 1 – 1. Checa (Ducati); 2. Laverty (Yamaha); 3. Melandri (Yamaha). Race 2 - 1. Checa (Ducati); 2. Laverty (Yamaha); 3. Melandri (Yamaha)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders – 1. Checa (Ducati) 343; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 281; 3. Melandri (Yamaha) 272; 4. Laverty (Yamaha) 208; 5. Haslam (BMW) 158; 6. Camier (Aprilia) 146; 7. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 141; 8. Badovini (BMW) 118…… Manufacturers – Ducati 355; Yamaha 320; Aprilia 320; BMW 194; Suzuki 158; Kawasaki 137; Honda 113