Carlos Checa extended his lead in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, winning both races at Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park.
The Althea Ducati racer recorded his second double of the season and now has six wins in ten races. Checa also scored the double in Utah in 2008 when Miller Motorsports Park made its debut on the WSBK calendar.
Check after the jump for the recap and video highlights.
Race One Highlights
BMW’s Troy Corser had a strong start from sixth on the grid to take the holeshot and lead the opening laps of Race One. Reigning WSBK Champion Max Biaggi of Aprilia Alitalia, who won both races in last year’s Utah round, was among the early frontrunners until crashing out after coming in contact with Castrol Honda’s Jonathan Rea.
Meanwhile, Checa began moving his way through to the front, first overtaking Liberty Racing Ducati’s Sylvain Guintoli and then PATA Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga before passing Corser to take over the lead on lap 6. Corser was unable to maintain the pace he showed in the first few laps because of a lack of grip on his rear tire. Checa would lead the remaining laps for the win, followed by Liberty Racing’s Jakob Smrz and Guintoli for an all-Ducati podium.
“It was a good race, at the beginning I took things easy because of the track conditions,” says Checa. “We didn’t know if we made the right choice for the feeling, but we managed to adapt, the feeling came lap after lap and I was able to overtake the riders in front. It was a race I was able to control, and my rivals didn’t have the conditions I had so racing is like that.”
Race Two Highlights
The second race was Checa’s right from the start, jumping ahead from pole position and never looking back.
Aprilia Alitalia’s Leon Camier had an excellent start, moving into second place from his 11th-place start. Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri also had good starts but were unable to fend off a charging Biaggi.
From lap six onward, it was Checa out in front with Camier second and his teammate Biaggi third. Laverty was fourth for most of the race and held off Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio to the end.
“In the second race I started off well, but in the first turn I wasn’t very aggressive. The others slipped by me and I had to make up some ground to get into third place,” says Biaggi. “My compliments to Checa, who is truly unbeatable here, but I think we showed our presence as well.”
With his two wins, Checa leaves Utah with 195 points, 61 points ahead of Melandri and 62 ahead of Biaggi. With almost two thirds of the season remaining, the other racers have plenty of time to catch up but for the moment, Checa appears to have a solid grip on the championship lead.
The 2011 World Superbike Championship continues June 12 in Italy at the Misano Adriatico.