Moscow (Russia), Sunday 26th August 2012: team Althea Racing did not have the kind of day it was expecting today at the new Moscow Raceway. The two Superbike races were marked by a series of collisions and DNFs; unfortunately both Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano crashed out of race 1 but were able to ride around the incidents in race two to score solid points with a fourth and sixth place finish respectively.
Race 1 – starting from pole on a still wet track (after rain earlier in the day), Carlos was in fourth place at the end of the first lap while his team-mate Davide made a strong start, moving into seventh through the first corners and into fifth after the first lap. All of the riders took it easy through lap one as they got to grips with the damp track conditions. On lap two Giugliano passed his team-mate to take fourth place and started to chase down the leading group composed of Sykes, Haslam and Laverty, overtaking the latter a few corners later. Unfortunately contact between Checa and Rea on the same lap left the Spaniard on the ground, forcing him to return to the garage; a real pity in a race where the podium was well within reach. From lap six Davide battled first with Laverty and then with Rea and was in third place on lap eight, positioned between the aforementioned pair. Rea crashed towards the middle of the race, leaving Eugene and Davide to fight it out between themselves but sadly it wasn’t to last as a crash for Giugliano on lap 13 left him out of the running. He too found himself on the gravel, putting a premature end to what would have surely been a great race.
Race 2 – fortunately the track had dried out completely in time for race 2. This time Carlos didn’t get away particularly quickly and was sixth through the first corners, followed by his team-mate Davide, seventh. On lap five Carlos lay seventh, Davide eighth and both were struggling to catch the leading group that were able to gain precious tenths along the straightway. Carlos finally got past Biaggi and at the mid-race point, when Biaggi and Haslam crashed out, the current champion was able to start pushing from fifth to catch Laverty ahead of him. Carlos crossed the line in final fourth position, narrowly missing the incident that saw Rea and Laverty hit the gravel on the last lap. In the final stages Giugliano lost a little ground due to tyre wear and rode a solitary final few laps; he nevertheless pushed as hard as he could to the line, closing in final sixth position.
At the end of round eleven Carlos is still fourth thanks to the 233.5 points that he has accumulated up until now. Davide has earned 116 points so far which put him in tenth position. Ducati is still third in the manufacturer’s standings with 322 points to the 334.5 of Aprilia and 361 of BMW.
“We did what we could and that’s how it went. In the first race we chose slick tyres – it would have been impossible to finish the race on rain tyres. It was a pity for the crash – I was fighting with Johnny for the position, he came too close to me, didn’t leave me room and I lost the front when he touched the handlebar. We had to build the bike from the rolling chassis for race 2 as there were some problems with my bike after the crash. I had similar sensations to yesterday but had real difficulty on the straight – it was extremely difficult to pass, or even get close enough to attempt to do that.”
“I’m sorry for race 1. I was fast, one of the fastest on track at that point and I didn’t realize in time that the front tyre had started to suffer very early on, finding myself on the ground before I could do anything. In the second race I decided to stay calm in the first half and try to control the tyre wear but when I wanted to start pushing, from mid-race on, the front tyre wasn’t performing and it only got wrose in the later stages. I hope that in the next races, with a little less of a straight, we might do better because here you can see that it was very difficult.”
RESULTS: Race 1 - 1. Sykes (Kawasaki); 2. Melandri (BMW); 3. Laverty (Aprilia). Race 2 – 1. Melandri (BMW); 2. Sykes (Kawasaki); 3. Davies (Aprilia)
CLASSIFICATION: Riders – 1. Melandri (BMW) 308.5; 2. Biaggi (Aprilia) 290; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki) 267.5; 4. Checa (Ducati) 233.5; 5. Rea (Honda) 212.5; 6. Haslam (BMW) 180; 7. Laverty (Aprilia) 173.5; 8. Guintoli (Ducati) 127.5; 9. Fabrizio (BMW) 119.5; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 116. Costruttori – BMW 361; Aprilia 334.5; Ducati 322; Kawasaki 298.5; Honda 221.5; Suzuki 93.5