2 October 2011
Checa takes WSBK title with 13th win
The Spaniard refuses to ride for points as he cruises to another victory at Magny-Cours, handing him a first WSBK title.
Carlos Checa confirmed himself as the 2011 World Superbike Champion in superb style by completing his 13th victory of the season at Magny-Cours.
Though it was highly anticipated that Checa would seal the championship in the first race around the French circuit, his comfortable victory went well beyond the 13th place finish he required to confirm the inevitable.
A fitting way for the Spaniard to secure a championship he has led from the very first round, Checa trailed Eugene Laverty in the early stages before eventually moving through on lap ten and romping to the chequered flag.
Indeed, Laverty assumed the lead from the sweeping first bend, the Irishman benefitting after Jonathan Rea bogged down from pole position and slipped to the bottom end of the top ten. Leon Camier and Tom Sykes chased over the opening lap, though Checa would make it past the Kawasaki rider at Chateau d'Eau.
Setting his sights on the leaders, Checa didn't need to push too hard when Camier ran wide at Adelaide and allowed the Spaniard – literally – onto his tail, the pair very nearly making contact as the Briton recovered back to his racing line.
Checa eventually moved past Camier on lap three and set about chasing down Laverty, who had worked his leading margin up to almost two seconds by this stage.
Behind them, Sylvain Guintoli held down fourth, ahead of Sykes, Marco Melandri, Leon Haslam and Rea, the latter determined to make up ground after his poor getaway.
However, the Ulsterman's challenge would end on lap three when he crashed out of the final corner chicane, joining a retirements' list that already included Mark Aitchison, who suffered a spectacular high-side on the first lap, Jakub Smrz, who also fell, and Ayrton Badovini, who saw his unbroken run of top ten finishes ended by a technical issue.
Back at the front, Checa's bid to win the 2011 title in ultimate style was going to plan as he caught up with Laverty, the pair circulating at a solid pace out front until the Ducati rider began to make his intentions known on lap ten.
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