WSBK: A duel between Melandri and Biaggi at Brno
Marco Melandri (Yamaha) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) not only battled it out in each of the races presented in the WSBK Championship doubleheader at Brno, but also split the honours as Carlos Checa (Ducati) still earned valuable points.
In the first race, Biaggi snatched the lead from pole position and Melandri gave chase once he dispatched fast-starting team-mate Eugene Laverty on lap two.
Swiftly onto Biaggi's tail, Melandri shadowed his rival before striking on lap nine with a pass into turn two. At this stage, the battle for lead was now a three-way, with Checa joining the conflict having made up almost two seconds in five laps.
Although Checa was able to pass Biaggi, the Spaniard’s challenge faded from this point as he kept a close watching brief without getting embroiled in the lead challenge.
Biaggi turned his attentions back onto Melandri, making two failed passes on lap 15, during which Melandri simply cut back through, before making a move stick on lap 17, less than four laps remaining.
With Biaggi attempting a sprint to the finish line, Melandri stayed with his rival, pulling off a surprise pass on the exit of the penultimate bend and regaining the lead with two laps to go.
For Melandri it was his third victory following those in Donington Park and Motorland Aragon. Biaggi was second and series’ leader Checa third.
The table were about to be turned in the second event as Max Biaggi took a much deserve victory having had the fend-off the attacks from a Marco Melandri.
Once again, Biaggi got away best to lead Eugene Laverty, though Melandri would soon push through into second place and swiftly move onto the tail of Biaggi.
Still riding with the leaders, Carlos Checa would also go with the top two after dispatching of Laverty as the top five remained within fairly close company during the first-half of the race.
Then Melandri passed Biaggi on lap 10, only for the Aprilia rider to return the favour on lap twelve. Melandri kept shadowing Biaggi, looking for the right opportunity which came with two laps to go.
The Yamaha man dived through into turn three, but having learnt from before, Biaggi promptly fought back and was through again, within four corners as he proceeded to keep his lines neat and tight.
Biaggi earned only his second win of the season, but one that sees him reduce Checa's margin in the overall standings for a fourth successive race. With Checa finishing a fairly distant third, the pair is now split by 30 points, while Melandri is once again a further 23 points back.
WSBK Brno Race No.1 – Results
Pos. Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 40mins 23.699s
2. Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +0.241s
3. Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 1098R +0.436s
4. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +8.448s
5. Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +11.863s
6. Ayrton Badovini BMW Italia S1000RR +16.374s
7. Leon Camier Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +20.075s
8. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad S1000RR +21.399s
9. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +21.555s
10. Tom Sykes Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R +22.330s
WSBK Brno Race No.2 – Results
Pos. Rider Team/Bike Time/Gap
1. Max Biaggi Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 40mins 21.646s
2. Marco Melandri Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +0.222s
3. Carlos Checa Althea Ducati 1098R +3.558s
4. Michel Fabrizio Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +7.863s
5. Eugene Laverty Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +8.534s
6. Ayrton Badovini BMW Italia S1000RR +18.085s
7. Leon Haslam BMW Motorrad S1000RR +21.650s
8. Joan Lascorz Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +21.862s
9. Sylvain Guintoli Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +25.306
10. Noriyuki Haga PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +27.366s