World Superbike Miller Race 1 Results 2011

May 30, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The all-Ducati podium enjoys some champagne - SBK Race 1 Miller
Carlos Checa gets it done in Race 1 at Miller Motorsports Park, the Spaniard piloting the Althea machine to the top of an all-Ducati podium.

Carlos Checa extended his World Superbike points lead at Miller, the Althea Ducati rider cruising to a Race 1 victory on Monday. The Spaniard topped an all-Ducati podium, with the Effenbert-Liberty Ducati duo of Jakub Smrz and Sylvain Guintoli taking second and third.

The 21-lap race started with Biaggi leading in the first turn. The first lap went south quick for the reigning champ, however, as Biaggi got into Castrol Honda’s Johnny Rea, with both riders going down mid-way through Lap 1. With two front-runners out of the way, the lead group crossing the start-finish for the first time read like a flashback to 2007. Troy Corser led on the BMW S1000RR followed by none other than Nitro Noriyuki Haga on the PATA Aprilia RSV4. The Ducatis of Guintoli and Checa ran third and fourth.

Two more riders got knocked out in the opening laps when Castrol Honda’s Ruben Xaus tucked it in Turn 1, collecting Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio in the process. Meanwhile, Checa started piecing through the top three, moving past Guintoli on Lap 3 and Haga on Lap 5. The Althea Ducati pushed past Corser for the lead on Lap 6 and then proceeded to open up a gap and check out.

Biaggi led Rea in the first turn at Miller  but the two would go down later in the lap with a controversial collision - SBK Race 1 Miller
Biaggi and Rea bikes pulled out of the muck - SBK Race 1 Miller
Max Biaggi led Jonathan Rea in the first turn at Miller, but the two would go down later in the lap. Biaggi claims Rea crashed into him, causing the Italian to lose consciousness. Rea maintains he had to pick the bike up Pedrosa-style after Biaggi ‘Simoncelli’d’ him.

While the Spaniard got comfortable up front, Guintoli and Haga tussled over second, with Corser fading out of the lead group and outside the top five. Moving up for a podium challenge were Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty and Aprilia’s Leon Camier. The Irishman dispatched Haga and eventually Guintoli, the double winner at Monza looking strong for at least a second-place result. Camier charged up as well, but a run-off at the Turn 5 hairpin bumped the Englishman down from third to seventh.

Then it was Laverty’s turn to fade, the R1 dropping off the pace and losing position first to Guintoli and then to the second Effenbert-Liberty Ducati rider, Smrz. The Czech rider charged up to third on Lap 14, having ran in seventh for most of the first half of the race.

The final seven laps saw the podium trio of Ducatis battling for the top-three finishing order. Smrz started to gain ground on Checa after passing his teammate for second, but there weren’t enough laps to catch the leader. Behind the Ducatis, Camier recovered from his run-off to catch Laverty for fourth.

Tom Sykes moved the Kawasaki up from a 10th-place grid position to a sixth-place finish. Ayrton Badovini won the battle in the BMW garage, finishing one position ahead of Leon Haslam in seventh. Haga dropped to ninth by the finish, while Melandri lost even more ground in his title hunt finishing a lackluster 10th in his first race at Miller.

Checa’s victory reverses his misfortunes from 2010, a pair of heartbreaking mechanical DNFs while leading the races. Checa didn’t get away completely unharmed, however, taking a spill during the cool-off victory lap and dumping his Ducati in the mud. Getting a lift and jogging back to his Althea garage, the Race 1 winner was all smiles with the trackside mud smeared on his leathers.

The points leader sees his advantage extend from 27 to 46 over Melandri. Biaggi drops to 53 points down. Laverty and Haslam hold fourth and fifth in the points.

Post race there were many teams washing muddied bikes in preparation for the afternoon Race 2. Fallout from the two incidents includes Rea, who made his feelings known immediately on his Twitter feed posting: “That looked promising until I got Simoncelli’d!” No official word on Fabrizio, who got Xaus’d, though Castrol team reports both its riders are fine. Fabrizio was already not at 100% owing to the flu. 

Inexplicably the Althea Ducati ended up off track in the mud on the cool down victory lap.
Ducati celebrates - SBK Race 1 Miller

2011 World Superbike Miller Race 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
2. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
3. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
4. Leon Camier (Aprilia)
5. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)
6. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
7. Ayrton Badovini (BMW)
8. Leon Haslam (BMW)
9. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)
10. Marco Melandri (Yamaha)
11. Maxime Berger (Ducati)
12. Josh Waters (Suzuki)
13. Troy Corser (BMW)
14. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)
15. James Toseland (BMW)
16. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki)
17. Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki)
DNF Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)
DNF Ruben Xaus (Honda)
DNF Max Biaggi (Aprilia)
DNF Jonathan Rea (Honda)

2011 World Superbike Points:
1. Checa, 170
2. Melandri, 124
3. Biaggi, 117
4. Laverty, 96
5. Haslam, 92
6. Rea, 89
7. Smrz, 75
8. Fabrizio, 74
9. Camier, 71
10. Haga, 54

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