Nurburgring World Superbike Results 2011

September 4, 2011
Matt Davidson
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Tom Sykes scored his first-ever World Superbike victory and gave Kawasaki its first win since 2006.
Tom Sykes scored his first-ever World Superbike victory and gave Kawasaki its first win since 2006.

Althea Racing’s Carlos Checa recorded his 11th win of the 2011 World Superbike Championship as the series swung through Germany over the weekend. The Spaniard fended off an attack from Pata Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga to post the win during Race 1 at Nurburgring and added more points to his already sizeable lead in the championship. Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes secured a rare victory for his team in the second race, which was shortened to 13 laps. It was Kawasaki’s first WSB win since 2006 and Sykes’ first-ever win as the Brit finished more than four seconds ahead of Liberty Racing’s Sylvain Guintoli and Jakub Smrz.

Race 1
The first big news of the day was Max Biaggi’s official withdraw from Round 10 after being diagnosed with a fracture to his foot. The Italian was struck by debris during Friday’s qualifying, and the swelling in his foot had become too severe.
In the first race Checa had an excellent start from pole position to lead the first lap ahead of Haga, Yamaha’s Marco Meandri, Eugene Laverty and Sykes on his Kawasaki ZX-10R. Over the next few laps Checa came under pressure from Haga, who briefly held the lead on Lap 2 before Checa reclaimed his position at the top of the order. BMW’s Leon Haslam was running fifth early in the match when the Brit ran off track, pushing him all the way down to 14th. Over the remaining laps Checa continued to pull ahead of the field, eventually crossing the finish line just 1.855 seconds ahead of Melandri, who snatched the runner-up position from Haga on Lap 16.

2011 World Superbike Nurburgring Race 1 podium  from left to right : Marco Melandri  Carlos Checa and Noriyuki Haga.
2011 World Superbike Nurburgring Race 1 podium (from left to right): Marco Melandri, Carlos Checa and Noriyuki Haga.

“It was a very good race, and it’s one step in front for the championship,” said Checa. “I know that I had to make a gap in the early laps, because I was suffering a little on the straight. At the end I was struggling a little with the tires, but the difference was good enough for me to win.”
“I really like this track,” said Haga. “I was looking for success but at the beginning of Race 1 Carlos was very fast. I know how the Ducati works here and I tried to catch up with him. In the race I was at 120% but couldn’t catch him, but I was happy with third at the end. I showed the world that at over 35 years of age I still have performance!”
Laverty finished fourth more than seven seconds off the pace of Checa. The Irishman had a small battle with his teammate, Melandri, in the early laps before settling with a top-five result. Meanwhile Haslam overcame his early mistake to charge back to fifth, finishing 0.386 seconds ahead of Guintoli. Kawasaki’s Joan Lascorz, Aprilia’s Leon Camier and BMW’s Aryton Badovini finished seventh through ninth respectively, with Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea earning 10th place in his first ride back from injury.

Nurburgring Race 1 Results:
1. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
2. Marco Melandri (Yamaha)
3. Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)

Carlos Checa was second-fastest on Friday and currently leads the WSB Championship by 62 points.
Carlos Checa won the first race of the day in Germany but struggled with wet conditions in the second contest.

4. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)
5. Leon Haslam (BMW)
6. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
7. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)
8. Leon Camier (Aprilia)
9. Aryton Badovini (BMW)
10. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
11. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
12. Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki)
13. James Toseland (BMW)
14. Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki)
15. Tory Corser (BMW)
16. Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)
DNF Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
DNF Max Berger (Ducati)

Race 2

In the final race of the day track conditions deteriorated rapidly as rain created a more difficult surface for riders to work with. Haga had another solid start and led the opening lap ahead of Rea, Sykes, Laverty, Guintoli, Haslam and Melandri. Haga kept his lead through 12 laps, the Japanese rider putting in his best performance of the season until he was caught off-guard by heavy rainfall. Following his crash, the race was red flagged on Lap 13, handing the victory to Sykes.

During Race 2 rain became a major issue and eventually shortened the contest to just 13 laps.
During Race 2 rain became a major issue and eventually shortened the contest to just 13 laps.

“The first win feels absolutely fantastic, the conditions today were unbelievable,” said Sykes. “It was good to see the red flag and even better to see it in first position. The bike had a fantastic setting today in the wet from the Paul Bird Motorsport team, the feel was fantastic as well. Fortunately the rains came and I managed to make a gap to Sylvain, it’s great to be back especially after the biggest crash of my career at Silverstone just one month ago!”
The final race proved especially good to privateers Guintoli and Smrz, who each gave Liberty Racing Ducati podium finishes with second and third, respectively.
“It was definitely good fun, very dangerous though with a lot of water towards the end,” said Guintoli. “I struggled to stay with Tom [Sykes], I had to push hard and nearly crashed about 20 times! In the end the rain came down very hard, but the pace was great and I had good fun.”
Rea improved his result in the second race despite its treacherous conditions, finishing just off the podium in fourth behind Smrz. Melandri had a consistent day after following his second-place finish in the first race with sixth place in Race 2. Meanwhile, Checa was not able to produce results in the wet conditions – the Spaniard finishing eighth and more than 50 seconds off the pace of Sykes. In addition the contest claimed many riders with Camier, Haga, Kawasaki’s Mark Aithison, BMW’s James Toseland and Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio all recording DNFs.

Nurburgring Race 2 Results:
1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)
2. Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati)
3. Jakub Smrz (Ducati)
4. Jonathan Rea (Honda)
5. Eugene Laverty (Yamaha)
6. Marco Melandri (Yamaha)
7. Aryton Badovini (BMW)

Tom Sykes: In Race 2  conditions were diabolical and it was a battle to stay upright but I kept things smooth and just kept my concentration. In the end it was the right decision to stop the race and Im delighted to take my first World Superbike Championship victory and to reward the team for all their hard work.
Tom Sykes: “In Race 2, conditions were diabolical and it was a battle to stay upright, but I kept things smooth and just kept my concentration.”

8. Carlos Checa (Ducati)
9. Leon Haslam (BMW)
10. Max Berger (Ducati)
11. Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki)
12. Tory Corser (BMW)
13. Roberto Rolfo (Kawasaki)
DNF Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia)
DNF Leon Camier (Aprilia)
DNF Mark Aitchison (Kawasaki)
DNF James Toseland (BMW)
DNF Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki)

2011 World Superbike Championship Points:
1. Carlos Checa, 376
2. Marco Melandri, 302
3. Max Biaggi, 281
4. Eugene Laverty, 232
5. Leon Haslam, 176
6. Leon Camier, 154
7. Michel Fabrizio, 141
8. Sylvain Guintoli, 139
9. Aryton Badovini, 134
10. Noriyuki Haga, 115

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