19 June 2011
Melandri beats Biaggi to Aragon victory
Starting from fourth position, Checa lost touch with Biaggi and Melandri early on as he grappled for third with Noriyuki Haga and Leon Camier, but once clear of the Aprilia duo, he began to close down the gap to the leaders.
Setting the fastest lap in the process, just as Checa appeared as though he was getting on terms with the lead fight, he crashed at turn ten. A huge disappointment for the Spanish fans, the crash marks Checa's first DNF since the second Nurburgring race in 2010.
His elimination promoted Camier to third, the Briton making the most of his front row grid slot to feature towards the front throughout. Indeed, having dropped more than four seconds off the leaders at the half-way stage in the race, Camier embarked on a charge during the latter stages, lapping faster than the leaders to end up just a second behind team-mate Biaggi at the chequered flag.
His third podium of the season, he was well up on an entertaining scrap for fourth, which changed hands throughout the race. Haga held the spot for the majority of the race, swapping with Tom Sykes towards the end, but it was Eugene Laverty that prevailed as he managed his tyres to pick off his rivals in the final laps.
Sykes dropped from fourth to seventh late on, but battled his way back up to fifth, missing out on fourth by a tenth of a second. Haga kept hold of sixth, ahead of Joan Lascorz on the second Kawasaki, while Ayrton Badovini had a lonely run to eighth.
Though battling lower than they would have preferred, BMW's Leon Haslam and Troy Corser enjoyed a dogged fight for ninth, with the Briton eventually winning over his team-mate, while Sylvain Guintoli kept a watching brief in 11th.
With just 15 riders finishing on the same lap – following accidents for Michel Fabrizio and Jakub Smrz too -, Chris Vermeulen, Maxime Berger, Roberto Rolfo and Mark Aitchison took the remaining points' positions.
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