Checa takes a clearn sweep down under


 

Carlos Checa notched up a clean sweep at Philip Island. The Spaniard topped every session at the Australian round of the World Superbike Championship and added victory in the second race to his race one success.

Checa hit the front on lap three, from the fast starting Leon Haslam, and opened a cushion to his pursuers. Haslam tried in vain to keep on terms with Checa. The Englishman used the extra grunt of his BMW to try and close in on Checa down the start finish straight but after three laps at the front Checa managed to open enough of a lead to move out of range of the pack.

With Checa clear at the front, Haslam set his attention on keeping hold of second place. Having clearly made some changes to his BMW Haslam looked much happier in race two but ultimately his bike just did not have the performance to keep Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi at bay. The Italian duo moved past Haslam on lap seven and set about recreating their battles from MotoGP until they reached the flag.

Biaggi managed to hold of Melandri for second after a race long battleEugene Laverty starred in the opening race of the day but a gear selector problem forced Laverty off the road twice in three laps and left him with little prospect of challenging for a decent haul of points.

With Checa comfortably clear at the front Melandri and Biaggi staged a fantastic battle for second. The pair traded places on almost every lap. Melandri was faster through the corners but Biaggi was able to power past the Yamaha rider on the long start-finish straight. Biaggi, the reigning world champion, had very few wheel to wheel battles in 2010 but he started the new season by firmly closing the door on Melandri’s late race attempts to take second and held off his compatriot by just under 0.3s at the chequered flag.

Behind the Italian duo Jonathon Rea was making steady progress and fighting with Haslam for fourth. The Castrol Honda rider managed to scrape past Haslam on the last lap and took fourth after a terrific fight back from 11th on the starting grid.

Throughout the weekend Leon Camier’s physical condition was the cause of much concern for Aprilia. The former British Superbike champion overcame a suspected case of glandular fever to pip Nori Haga and Michele Fabrizio for sixth after his more experienced rivals made a mistake on the final lap.

Kawasaki rider Tom Sykes added a strong ninth place finish to his eighth in race one to end what has been an encouraging weekend for the men in green. Sykes has looked in fine form all weekend and his confidence will surely be high before heading to the next round of the season at Donnington Park.

Ruben Xaus rounded out the top ten just ahead of Jakub Smrz with Roberto Rolfo, Josh Waters, James Toseland and Laverty rounding out the points scorers.

For full results from race two click here

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