12. July 2011
Another fantastic weekend for riders using Akrapovič exhaust systems: Melandri won the first race ahead of Biaggi, and in the second race they simply traded places.
Interesting battles are typical of the Brno circuit and it was no different this time around: riders at the very top of the championship overall standings fought for the first three places in both races. In the first race Marco Melandri (Yamaha) took the lead in lap nine and only let his compatriot Max Biaggi (Aprilia) take over for a brief moment in lap seventeen. He then regained the lead and for the third time this year crossed the finish line only 0.24 seconds ahead of Biaggi, and less than half a second ahead of Checa.
The end results of the second race on the sizzling-hot asphalt (54 °C!) were not much different from those of the first race: the same riders took to the podium, with the only difference being that Melandri and Biaggi switched places. Once again, the first and second places were won by riders with the red scorpion on their bikes’ exhaust systems.
The second-place Melandri: “It’s a great sensation to be on my third win of the season but I still need to do a double. I’m really happy with today’s results. At the beginning of race one I didn’t think I’d catch up to Max, so I immediately passed Eugene in order to tail him. I was struggling to keep in front, at times Max was faster than me. Race two was also very difficult. I certainly didn’t give up but it wasn’t easy to keep pushing. Max and I had a nice battle which I think we both enjoyed, and I’m sure the spectators did also. I have to say thanks to the team for doing such a good job again. I’m looking forward to Silverstone.”
Things are heating up in the overall standings because, after an excellent performance by Italian aces riding Aprilia and Yamaha, the Ducati rider no longer has an unassailable lead. Checa (293) is followed by Biaggi (263) and Melandri (240); things are even tighter among the manufacturers: Aprilia is only three points behind Ducati (which has 305 points) and Yamaha 25 points behind.
Akrapovič didn’t win only in the Superbike class: with his first win of the season, Gino Rea (Honda) finished ahead of Fabien Foret (Honda) and the leading rider in the overall standings Chaz Davies (Yamaha).
The season continues on 30 July at the Silverstone Circuit.
Photo: Yamaha Racing, Aprilia Racing