Checa cruises to victory at Imola

Checa moves past long-time leader Tom Sykes at the mid-way point in the race before cruising to a dominant victory.
Carlos Checa has won his second World Superbike Championship race of the season after perfectly biding his time to head off pole sitter Tom Sykes at Imola.

Starting from third position on the grid, Checa rose to second at the start behind Sykes, the Kawasaki man managing another impressive getaway from the front to lead the field into the tight opening bend.

Though drama was avoided through Tamburello, bikes were scattered at the following Variante Villeneuve bend when Leon Camier and Joan Lascorz tangled, the Suzuki rider crashing out of the race, while the Spaniard and Davide Giugliano were both heavily delayed.

Sykes proceeded to round the opening lap with the advantage, ahead of Checa, while Sylvain Guintoli scythed into third position ahead of Max Biaggi at the final bend.

Unfortunately for Guintoli, disaster would strike just seconds later when, having been swallowed up Biaggi on the run down to Tamburello, he was caught out by Haslam on the outside of the bend, sending both across the grass. Though Haslam recovered unscathed, Guintoli lost the rear-end of his Ducati, sending him into a high-side across the circuit and into the path of the hapless Chaz Davies, who had nowhere to go but into stricken bike.

The incident, which put both out of the race, duly split up the leading group, with Sykes and Checa establishing a gap over third place Biaggi, while his Aprilia team-mate Eugene Laverty was now a fairly distant fourth place.

Indeed, with Biaggi unable to maintain the pace of the leaders, it was evident that victory would likely come from either Sykes or Checa, the former raising hopes of a Kawasaki win as he held Checa at bay.

However, with an advantage of four seconds over Biaggi, Checa duly began to up the pressure as the race tipped into the second-half and having moved onto the tail of the ZX-10R on lap 12, duly slipped past at Acqua Minerale to assume the lead.

Promptly smashing the lap record as Sykes's tyres began to wane, Checa quickly established an advantage that he would go on to hold until the chequered flag, the reigning champion completing a fairly comfortable win for both Althea Racing and Ducati on home soil.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Checa, Imola WSBK 2012
Checa, Imola WSBK 2012
Checa, Imola WSBK 2012
Checa, Imola WSBK 2012
Checa, Imola WSBK 2012
Chaz Davies, Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017
Hayden, Imola WSBK 2017
Sykes, Imola WSBK 2017
Jonathan Rea, Imola WSBK 2017
Alex Lowes, Imola WSBK 2017
Eugene Laverty, Imola WSBK 2017
Pitlane walk, Imola WSBK 2017
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017
Eugene Laverty, Imola WSBK 2017
Eugene Laverty, pitlane walk, Imola WSBK 2017
Savadori, Imola WSBK 2017

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blah - Unregistered

April 01, 2012 12:01 PM

All the other manufactures can race with the same specs that Ducati has if they want to. Posted by me - Unregistered (2 minutes ago) Yeah, they only need to build a brand new road bike for homologation. Honda did it with the VTR1000 and spanked Ducati.


April 01, 2012 12:16 PM

I don't see any advantage for Ducati in terms of either top speed or acceleration. The only advantage obvious from that race is that the Duc's power delivery allows for better tyre conservation. That's what decided the result (along with Checa's skill and judgement of course). It's hardly as though Ducatis were packing positions 1-4 after all. Carlos deserves more credit than some give him.

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