31 July 2011
Checa pulls clear with ninth win of season
With Checa stretching clear and Laverty following up in second place, an intense fight for third place raged instead, with Haga holding steady as Melandri and Hopkins twice swapped positions in fourth and fifth. Prevailing for the short-term, Hopkins was back up to third on lap eight, with Camier – who was now past Haslam and Melandri – forcing his way through into fourth. Enough to unsteady Haga, the Japanese rider found himself down from third to seventh in just three bends.
Camier swiftly turned his attentions to Hopkins, passing on lap ten and promptly pulling away to go in search of Laverty in second. Haga, meanwhile, was down and out after crashing out at Brooklands, ending his hopes of a strong finish.
However, just as Camier was beginning to put the pressure on Laverty, the Aprilia would begin to slow with just three laps remaining, the hapless Briton denied what would have been a well-deserved podium on home soil.
There were no such concerns for Checa up front as he managed the advantage, cruising across the finish line three and a half seconds ahead of Laverty, the Irishman scoring his first podium since winning at Monza in May.
Camier's misfortune would see Melandri promoted to third position, the Italian making it two Yamahas on the podium. Melandri's result came after he got the better of Hopkins on lap 12, before staving off the attentions of a hard charging Haslam late on.
His best result since scoring a podium at Monza, Haslam would finish just off the podium in fourth position, while Hopkins completed a still respectable fifth aboard the wild-card Samsung Crescent Suzuki.
Almost as enticing as the battle up front, the battle in the mid-pack was fraught and fascinating, not least because it contained Biaggi, who was visibly struggling on the RSV-4. Though he ran seventh initially, Biaggi was swallowed up by the chasing pack, the Italian enduring the unfamiliar sight of Mark Aitchison's Pedercini Kawasaki running ahead of him.
Sadly for Aitchison, who was up to eighth at one stage, a crash at Brooklands would scupper his hopes of a landmark result for both himself and the team.
With the order changing repeatedly, it was Sylvain Guintoli who eventually prevailed for sixth place, the Frenchman fighting back after an awful start dropped him from fifth to 15th initially. Similarly, Joan Lascorz scythed his way up the order from 19th on the sole PBM Kawasaki to take a fine seventh, ahead of Maxime Berger, who scored his best-ever WSBK result with a run to eighth on the Supersonic Ducati.
Troy Corser was a brave eighth on his return to WSBK competition, finishing ahead of Ayrton Badovini, who in turn demoted Biaggi to his finishing position of 11th. Worryingly for the reigning champion, his fate would have been worse had Haga, Camier, Aitchison and Fabrizio not all retired from positions ahead of him.
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