Max Biaggi extends SBK margin at Brno

Max Biaggi and Jonathan Rea took race wins at Brno

Max Biaggi (right) and Jonathan Rea took race wins at Brno

Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) moved an impressive 68 points clear of his nearest challenger in the World Superbike Championship after two 20-lap races held in hot and steamy conditions in front of 64,000 fans at Brno.

Biaggi has now won ten races at Brno in all classes of competition, but he had to share top billing with race one winner Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The British rider added to his Assen double with a virtual flag-to-flag win, to take his victory tally for 2010 to three.

Biaggi could not do his usual double but was peerless in race two, after changing his set-up between races and capitalizing when the track temperature jumped up by almost ten degrees.

The other podium places were shared by Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox), but in the championship fight itself, the fate of Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) in each race had the most effect. Eighth in race one and tenth in race two for Leon put him on 284 points to Biaggi’s class-leading 352.

Rea is now third on 203, Checa (Althea Ducati) is fourth on 189, after finishing ninth and sixth today.

Race 1

Rea ground out a great win, by 2.5 seconds from Biaggi’s Aprilia, putting himself back into the spotlight after some tough races in the past few weeks. His last podium before this had been at Kyalami, back in May. Rea had been third on the grid, with Biaggi second and pole man Crutchlow rode hard and well to take third place.

Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) equalled his best race finish of fourth, while Ruben Xaus (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) had his best result yet on his German machine, fifth. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), fast in early qualifying but 15th after Superpole, recovered well to go sixth, holding off James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) who has been suffering from a chest infection at this race.

“At the start I didn’t really know what was going on but I ended up going to the front,” said Rae.

“This race win I’d like to dedicate to my team boss, Ronald ten Kate, who is not here with us this weekend. Today it was like out there on the bike I could do nothing wrong, now I’ll go back to the guys and prepare a better bike for race 2 and see what we can do. I just had to capitalize on Max’s weaknesses in some corners, it was a really difficult race out there and very hot.”

Race 2

Biaggi found the last one percent of speed he was missing in race one to record his ninth win of the season, giving him a 50% win ratio so far. Rea was an early leader but finally finished a clear second, 4.6 seconds behind the Italian, after Max eased past, with Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox) third, the only Ducati podium spot of the day. Two-times champion Toseland made a great recovery from 12th on lap one to fourth, catching and passing Haga with one lap to go.

Checa was sixth, Guintoli seventh and Biaggi’s team-mate Leon Camier eighth. Shane Byrne (Althea Ducati) got ninth, one place up on the luckless Haslam, who now goes to his home race of Silverstone to try and claw back points from Biaggi. Cal Crutchlow pitted to change a rear tyre in race two, and when he went back out he set a new lap record in race conditions, with a 1’59.291.

“Knowing the track quite well here and the passion of the fans in the Czech Republic, we tried something really special and made some changes on the bike, weight distribution and gearbox and the result was very good so I’m happy,” said Biaggi.

“For me it’s the tenth victory here, and this is my second home country. I love this place!”

Next Round

The next round of the World Superbikes will be at Silverstone on 1 August.

SBK Championship after 9 of 13 rounds

No

Rider

Bike

Points

1

Max Biaggi

Aprilia

352

2

Leon Haslam

Suzuki

284

3

Jonathan Rae

Honda

203

4

Carlos Checa

Ducati

189

5

Noriyuki Haga

Ducati

172

6

James Toseland

Yamaha

160

7

Troy Corser

BMW

149

8

Michel Fabrizio

Ducati

147

9

Leon Camier

Aprilia

138

10

Cal Crutchlow

Yamaha

138

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