Belfast Telegraph

World Superbikes: Checa checks in at top but it’s pain for our boys

By Paul Lindsay

Carlos Checa further extended his lead in the World Superbike Championship over main rival Max Biaggi to 72 points with another faultless double, this time at Misano Adriatico.

Biaggi was second in both races with Yamaha’s Marco Melandri third in race one and Nori Haga taking his first podium this season in race two on the PATA Aprilia.

Unfortunately local men Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea [Castrol Honda] will not come away from Italy with the feel-good factor. Ballyclare man, Rea failed to race after breaking his wrist and fracturing a collarbone in morning warm-up.

Laverty also crashed in race two, showing only 14 points for his weekend’s efforts.

Yamaha mounted Laverty did have a solid sixth place in the opening race, but in the second half of race two, the Toomebridge rider threw away a great chance of a podium finish in the 14-lap sprint. The race was red flagged initially when Laverty’s team-mate, Marc Melandri crashed out, with his bike lying in the middle of the circuit.

In the re-start Laverty forced his way through to third place on lap two, behind Biaggi and Checa.

But an unforced error on lap six dropped him to dead last, before fighting back to 14th position, taking two very valuable championship points.

He still holds fourth place in the championship standings on 123 points behind Checa [245pts], Biaggi [173] and his team Marco Melandri [150].

Rea’s season went from bad to worse at Misano. After a Superpole crash on Saturday, putting a hole in his elbow that required medical attention, Rea then crashed in morning warm-up breaking his right wrist and fracturing his collarbone.

He has now taken only 15 points from his last six races and slips to eighth in the standings.

He will now miss the next round of the championship at Aragon in Spain next weekend.

“I had a crash yesterday which needed some stitches in my arm and then a fast crash on Sunday morning,” he explained.

“Of course I’m frustrated that I have some injuries. We’ll have to miss Aragon next week, unfortunately, but Brno is a month away and the doctors tell me that the break in my arm would normally keep someone off work for three weeks.”

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