Misano Adriatico (Italy), Sunday 10th June 2012: another difficult day for the Althea Racing team today at the Misano World Circuit. The team celebrated a double podium in race 1 when Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano crossed the line in second and third place respectively, both having put on an impressive show in front of the Italian crowds; unfortunately the success was not to continue, with both riders crashing out of the second race.
Race 1 – by the end of the first lap Davide was up in third position and Carlos, having already made up ground thanks to a very fast start, lay ninth (having started from sixteenth on the grid). While Giugliano chased down Sykes and Haslam, Checa got past Melandri before heading into battle with Biaggi. On the eighth lap Carlos recorded the fastest lap of the race (1m36.0), moving gradually closer to the leading group. Towards the middle of the race, Giugliano, having passed both Sykes and Haslam, moved into second position. A couple of laps later Checa was up in fifth ahead of Melandri and Sykes. The current champion’s impressive recovery continued and at the sixteenth lap he was in third position, right behind Biaggi, second. At the same time Giugliano moved into first position, holding the lead for six laps until three laps from the end of the race, when ‘veterans’ Max and Carlos moved in front of him. The fight for victory went down to the wire; Checa crossed the line in eventual second position, just three tenths of a second behind winner Biaggi, while Giugliano finished third, earning a very well deserved second podium place of the season.
Race 2 – once again the two Althea riders made strong starts. By the end of lap one Giugliano was fourth and Checa, closing in on the leading group, in eighth position. On lap three, while in the process of making another incredible recovery, there was contact between himself and Melandri. The Italian tried to pass in a dangerous point of the track, causing Carlos to crash out as a result. Unfortunately the Spaniard was unable to continue with the race, returning immediately to the garage. Giugliano meanwhile pushed hard to catch Rea, passing him during the course of the fourth lap and moving into third position. As he pushed to catch Sykes, he unexpectedly found himself on the ground without warning.
As the seventh round of the championship comes to a close, Carlos lies in fifth position in the general standings with 150.5 points, while Davide is ninth with 80 points. Ducati leads the manufacturer’s championship with 222.5 points to Aprilia’s 221.
The Althea Racing team and riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano will return to the Misano World Circuit in less than two weeks time for World Ducati Week, taking place between 21st and 24th June.
“Considering our position on the grid, and the fact that it’s not at all easy to make passes at Misano, the result in race 1 was pretty good. I admit that I didn’t expect to be up there fighting for the win today but I was able to make up ground, which was no easy task! Max was strong today, well done to him and to Davide who rode a fantastic race! Then what can I say about race 2? It seems like this season we are under fire from all sides. Marco pushed me out through the corner, which is strange as he’s normally more careful but anyway that’s how it went. It’s a real pity as I could have made another good race and taken important points.”
“I’m really happy with how race 1 went. We’re gaining experience race after race and I’m trying to put everything that the team and Ducati has given me to good use. I knew that the last phase of the race would be more difficult and I was right; I started to have grip issues and got a little nervous when I saw Carlos and Max right behind me! I’m really happy with the result, and the fact that it comes here at Misano. On the other hand, I’m really sorry about what happened in the second race. I was lapping very fast and doing all I could to stick with the leading group. Perhaps I pushed a little too hard and it was game over. I apologise to my team, that has worked so hard for me this weekend, to the fans and I’m also sorry for how Carlos’ race came to an end.”
Genesio Bevilacqua – General Manager of Althea Racing:
“Another difficult day, though we partly made up for the problem we had in qualifying in race 1. A fantastic second place finish for Carlos and above all a great performance by Davide who showed us exactly the kind of race we believed he could make, as a result of which we can consider our rider to be a force to be reckoned with, a frontrunner. In the second race Carlos made a good start once more, he was able to make up lost ground and was there, close to the leaders. Then, in the key stages of the race, a strange incident occurred in which I saw Melandri take a rather aggressive approach in a risky point of the track; he should have waited rather than try to pass there. Davide proved to be quick once again. He didn’t want to miss out on a second podium and so was perhaps pushing harder than usual. Perhaps he could have controlled his emotions a little better but when you race at this level anything can happen; he has nevertheless undoubtedly proved to be a contender, and we hope he continues in a similar vein for the rest of the season.”
RESULT: Race 1 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Checa (Ducati); 3. Giugliano (Ducati). Race 2 – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Rea (Honda); 3. Haslam (BMW)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders – 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 210.5; 2. Rea (Honda) 172; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 164.5; 4. Melandri (BMW) 155.5; 5. Checa (Ducati) 150.5; 6. Haslam (BMW) 123; 7. Guintoli (Ducati) 103; 8. Laverty (Aprilia) 95; 9. Giugliano (Ducati) 80; 10. Smrz (Ducati) 75.5. Manufacturers – Ducati 222.5; Aprilia 221; BMW 197; Honda 176; Kawasaki 170.5; Suzuki 56.5