30 May 2011
Checa claims fifth win as Ducati sweeps podium
Having steadily held his ground during the opening portion of the race, Corser's pace dropped markedly as he was overtaken by Haga, Guintoli and Camier in just a few corners, leaving him fifth by the end of lap eight having led going into lap six.
Haga would fare little better, watching as Guintoli, Camier and Eugene Laverty – recovering from a slow start – came through on him on lap nine.
Indeed, of the front runners, Camier was looking most poised, the Briton pressuring Guintoli when an error on lap ten saw him run wide off the circuit. The subsequent time lost would leave him down in sixth position at the half-way stage.
Camier's mistake lifted Laverty up to third place, whereby he began pressuring Guintoli for second himself, the Irishman pulling off a successful pass on lap 11. However, the Frenchman quickly regrouped and regained the position on lap 13 before proceeding to pull away.
Indeed, the pace of the Effenbert-Liberty Ducati's defined the second-half of the race as both Guintoli and Smrz began lapping faster than their closest rivals.
Smrz was particularly flying, the Czech rider scything his way back up the order to snatch third position with only a handful of laps remaining. Quickly catching Guintoli, Smrz shadowed his team-mate for a few laps before eventually planting his move with three to go.
Checa, meanwhile, was cruising to his fifth victory of the season – and his third at the Utah venue -, one that goes some way to avenging his agonising retirement twelve months ago.
Crucially for the championship standings, Checa's win comes after closest rival Marco Melandri could only manage a low-profile tenth place, while Biaggi retirement means he has now extended his advantage to 46 points.
Smrz came home for a satisfying second place finish – his second of the season -, while Guintoli completed a fantastic race for the Czech team in third, also his maiden WSBK podium in 36 attempts.
Camier fought his way back to what remains a strong fourth place finish, ahead of Laverty, who faded late on but scored some good points to move up to fourth in the overall standings.
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