Mixed fortunes for RR riders at the 2011 Misano World Superbike!

BMW Racing News Release

Today’s World Superbike round from Misano was full of drama, with crashes, retirements, recoveries and almost a rostrum for BMW Motorrad Italia’s Ayrton Badovini, who secured his best WSBK result to date. Troy Corser’s injuries prevented him from scoring any points in Italy, while Leon Haslam high-sided out of race one but fought bravely to finish fifth in race two.

Race one started extremely promisingly for Leon Haslam who made a fantastic start into second place on his S 1000 RR from fifth on the grid, and then proceeded to take the early race lead. Max Biaggi squeezed past Leon on lap two, with eventual race winner Carlos Checa edging past soon after. A mistake on lap six by Haslam forced him to run wide and Marco Melandri quickly took advantage, but then just three laps later, a big high-side coming out of a third-gear corner caused Leon to crash out of contention. Fortunately he wasn’t injured to badly and was able to start race two.

This was not the case for a bruised and battered Troy Corser, who bravely started the first race despite carrying injuries from two earlier crashes this weekend. However, with another WSBK round in just a few days in Spain, Troy decided that rest and recovery was a better option than risking further injury, so he decided to sit out race two.

There was yet more positive news for Ayrton Badovini, who continued his successful transition to World Superbikes by working his way from the third row of the grid to an eighth-place race one finish after a long battle with Michel Fabrizio. The BMW Motorrad Italia rider was only six seconds behind podium finisher Marco Melandri. Lorenzo Lanzi, substituting for the injured James Toseland, earned a championship point by finishing in 15th place.

Race two saw an identical start by Haslam, who shot up into second behind pole-setter Tom Sykes. Leon took the lead just a few corners later, with race one winner Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi in hot pursuit. Checa took the lead on lap 3, with Biaggi then pushing Haslam wide on the same lap. With Checa riding at near lap-record pace, and Biaggi actually breaking the lap record on lap 7, a bruised Haslam was visibly struggling to stay with the leaders. Melandri edged past as Haslam ran wide on lap 8, but then the Italian lost the front end of his Yamaha at the end of the start-finish straight on lap 11, and soon after, the race was red flagged.

The subsequent restart saw Haslam third on the grid for the 14-lap sprint and the young Brit tucked into second place behind Biaggi, with the ever present Checa moving past Haslam on lap 2. Visibly pushing hard, Leon outbraked himself and allowed Eugene Laverty past and was then forced to fend of challenges from fellow RR rider Ayrton Badovini, who had made a fantastic start into fifth place.

A crash by Laverty on lap 6 left Haslam, Haga, Badovini and Fabrizio battling for the final podium place. Haga put a strong pass on Leon on lap 8, and with four laps to go, the chasing Brit ran wide on the kerb, allowing fellow RR rider Badovini past in pursuit of his career first World Superbike podium. The Italian took over half a second out of Haga on the penultimate lap and pushed Haga all the way on the final lap, managing to get past the hard-charging Japanese rider for a few corners, but then losing the drag to the finish line by less than a tenth of a second. This is, however, Badovini’s best WSBK result to date. Carlos Checa took victory for the second time today, while Leon Haslam bravely finished in fifth place.

Aryton Badovini: “I am happy for sure. I wanted to be on the podium so badly and came so close it was a real shame I didn’t quite make it. Still, on the whole I am very pleased because with every race we get stronger and move closer to the front. We can run consistently in the top 10 in any conditions. I feel so good on the bike, the team is doing an amazing job and I think we can continue like this in the future. If I can get a strong start in the next races I think we can really push into the top five and maybe even a podium. This championship is very difficult but we are getting faster and that’s a really nice feeling.”

Leon Haslam: “I was quite disappointed that the race was red flagged and ultimately restarted. We went out on the harder tyre so we could go the full distance and it felt stable and I was feeling comfortable. Sadly the race was stopped and the number of laps reduced so we went for the softer tyre so get more grip and it really affected the characteristics of the bike. We couldn’t seem to improve despite the increase in grip. I was having a lot of issues with the front tyre and came so close to crashing on a number of occasions. With the issues we were having I was happy to see out the race to the end. The crash in race one was my fault, I was pushing too hard trying to ride around a few issues and I had a huge high-side. I have broken a toe on my right foot and hurt my hand but nothing too serious.”

Troy Corser: “I tried to start and did some laps. But due to the bruising in my hip I can’t move properly on the bike. Yesterday it was not so bad, but a bruising really comes through on the second day. It would not have made sense to continue. I did not want to cause an accident or have another crash without any need. But I am pretty confident for the next race weekend in Aragón. The swelling on my hip is already gone, and I think that I should be okay after nearly a week of resting and recovering.”

Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director): “On the whole it was a very difficult weekend. In the practices and the Superpole we were doing quite well. In the first race, Troy was struggling to go the pace due to his injuries, so we called him back. Leon had a very unfortunate high-side, falling exactly on the injuries he suffered in Monza. Obviously he was affected by this, but in the second race he really gave his best. Leon was certainly affected by his bruises and broken bones but also we could not get the performance advantage out of the grippier tyres as we wished. So the fifth place is positive for us – as is the result of Ayrton Badovini who missed the podium by a whisker. . This weekend all BMW riders showed great levels of commitment and a determination that you can only wish for. Now we travel to Aragón and hope for a better weekend.”

Results

Race one: 1. Checa (ESP – Ducati), 2. Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 3. Melandri (ITA – Yamaha), 8. Ayrton Badovini (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), 15. Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), DNF – Leon Haslam (GBR – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), DNF – Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

Race two: 1. Checa (ESP – Ducati), 2. Biaggi (ITA – Aprilia), 3. Haga (JPN – Aprilia), 4. Ayrton Badovini (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), 5. Leon Haslam (GBR – BMW Motorrad Motorsport), 11. Lorenzo Lanzi (ITA – BMW Motorrad Italia), DNS – Troy Corser (AUS – BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

Points: 1. Checa – 245, 2. Biaggi – 173, 3. Melandri – 150, 5. Haslam – 106, 11. Badovini – 72, 15. Corser – 49

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