Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike Team) traded wins at the final round of the World Superbike Championship in Portugal during a day that promised and delivered close racing in hot weather conditions in front of a crowd of 86,000 spectators. Effenbert-Liberty Racing Ducati rider Sylvain Guintoli almost gave the new-for-2011 team its first race win in race one, but Checa prevailed at the end.

Checa’s championship season win tally now ends on 15, part of a total of 21 podiums in 26 races, with six pole positions and 11 fastest laps. His points total reached over the 500 mark today, with his final tally 505 – the second highest ever in a single WSBK season.

Behind Carlos, the fight for second had already been already decided in Melandri’s favor but his determination to succeed in race two underlined how much his presence has brought to the series this year. He has now scored four race wins in his rookie WSBK season, as part of a total of 15 podium places.

WSBK legend Troy Corser signed off his career today, riding a specially painted race bike to signify this momentous day for the former double champion.

“With the appointment here at Portimão we conclude a truly rewarding season and I renew my congratulations to the new champions in each class, especially to Carlos Checa and Fabien Foret in the SSP and SBK classes who were awarded the 2011 Pirelli Best Lap Awards as Fastest Riders of the Year and the respective financial contributions included in this initiative,” said Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director of Pirelli Moto.

“In 2011, our commitment has always been clear and consistent in WSBK from the point of view of development and logistics,
he continued. “We took an average total of 5,000 tires to each round with around 20,000 being consumed by riders in the 5 categories throughout the year. This massive allotment consisted of nearly 80 different compounds of which more than 35 new developments were dedicated to SBK. A team of 8 operators worked simultaneously at every race to mount/dismount and balance an average of 210 tires per hour, loading and unloading the 7 to 9 trucks of the service area used to transport the tires and equipment. Also for the first time this year, Pirelli sponsored an initiative to further the future of the sport by encouraging talented young riders of National Superstock 600 championships: thus is born the Pirelli Superstock 600 Series, an initiative providing an opportunity for the most talented riders of the various European STK600 series to take part as wild-cards in the last round of the European Superstock 600 race here in Portimão. The top 3 ranked riders from these wild-card positions were then awarded a plaque and additionally a financial award to help them to continue their growth as riders. To conclude this year for us, the Superbike World Championship has been an excellent laboratory for developing more advanced technological solutions that we will soon offer our customers, thus remaining always true to our philosophy: We sell what we race, we race what we sell.”

Race 1

It took Checa some time to get on terms with the long time leader Guintoli but he made a final pass with only a couple of laps go, and took a final advantage of 2.860 seconds at the flag. Third went to early leader Rea while a remarkable comeback from 17th on the grid meant that Biaggi overhauled the ever-improving Lascorz to take fourth place after 22-laps of pure effort. Melandri faded in the later stages to go sixth, while a brilliant ride from privateer Maxime Berger (Supersonic Ducati) put him seventh, his best single result of the year.

“It was not easy at all, at the beginning I was struggling because we made a difficult choice about the hard tire,” said Race 1 winner Carlos Checa. “We knew we would be more consistent at the end, but it was also difficult to overtake Marco and then Johnny, and to catch Guintoli was not easy at all. The win is because we made the right choice, and a good job. I want to dedicate this victory and the championship to Genesio and all the team because they deserve the victory.”

Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 38’13.293 (158,587 kph); 2. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 2.860; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 8.481; 4. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11.963; 5. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 13.333; 6. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 18.960; 7. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 20.489; 8. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 25.320; 9. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 26.695; 10. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.801; 11. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 27.115; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 28.563; 13. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 31.765; 14. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 31.822; 15. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 31.866; 16. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 47.694; etc.

Race 2

Melandri and Laverty gave their official Yamaha squad a 1-2 finish in the final race of the 2011 season, with Rea posting third place after his late attack on Laverty was rebuffed. The top three were separated by only 1.363 seconds. Checa held off the resurgent charge of Guintoli to take fourth place in the 22-lap race. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) and his team-mate Biaggi went sixth and seventh, Lascorz eighth.

“After race 1 I was a little bit disappointed because we had a tire problem, so in race 2 I was stronger at the beginning when I saw Eugene in front I tried to catch him and wait a bit because I wasn’t fast at the beginning,” said Race 2 winner Marco Melandri. It’s been a great season for me, and to give Yamaha a win in the last race is awesome. I just want to say a big thanks to Maio Meregalli, Marco Riva, all my team and all the Yamaha guys; they did a great job, especially when they knew we were pulling out at the end of the season.”

Results: 1. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 38’11.326 (158,723 kph); 2. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 1.075; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1.363; 4. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 2.648; 5. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 3.355; 6. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 4.709; 7. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 6.514; 8. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 14.441; 9. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 19.128; 10. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 25.527; 11. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 26.400; 12. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 26.646; 13. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 26.963; 14. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 30.209; 15. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 30.951; 16. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 31.057; etc.

Final points: 1. Checa 505; 2. Melandri 395; 3. Biaggi 303; 4. Laverty 303; 5. Haslam 224; 6. Guintoli 210; 7. Camier 208; 8. Haga 176; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 529; 2. Yamaha 450; 3. Aprilia 422; 4. BMW 275; 5. Kawasaki 228; 6. Honda 194; 7. Suzuki 169.

World Supersport

Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) scored his sixth win of the year, from the closing David Salom (Kawasaki Motocard.com) and one-time second place rider James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda). The top three were within 1.415 seconds of each other. Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO) slotted his R6 into fourth place, 5.522 seconds from his team-mate and the 2011 champion Davies. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) and Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com) no scored after a crash for Lowes and a collision with Gino Rea (Step Racing Honda) for Parkes. Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) finished 12th, and thus Salom finishes second in the championship on the day he celebrated his 27th birthday. The final points read Davies 206, Salom 156, Foret 148 and Parkes 136.

Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 35’31.062 (155,145 kph); 2. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1.253; 3. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1.415; 4. Scassa L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 5.522; 5. Marino F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 21.658; 6. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 24.490; 7. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 25.506; 8. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR600RR 32.271; etc.

Final points: 1. Davies 206; 2. Salom 156; 3. Foret 148; 4. Parkes 136; 5. Scassa 134; 6. Lowes 129; 7. Ellison 99; 8. Marino 89; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 251; 2. Honda 230; 3. Kawasaki 197; 4. Triumph 36.

Superstock 1000

Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Ducati) secured the final win of the year in a race shortened to 11 laps after a technical issue with the starting lights. A distant second place went to Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) after a close fight with Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Lorenzini by Leoni) and fourth placed Bryan Staring (Kawasaki Pedercini Team). The absence of champion Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing) – who stepped up to the Superbike class today – means that Giugliano finishes his stellar year with an unchanged 171 points, Petrucci now has 169, Lorenzo Zanetti (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) 148 and Barrier 132.

Results: 1. Petrucci D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 19’31.819 (155,18 kph); 2. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 8.019; 3. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 8.115; 4. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 8.364; 5. Zanetti L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 9.354; 6. Antonelli A. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 9.466; 7. Baz L. (FRA) Honda CBR1000RR 9.664; 8. Massei F. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 16.030; etc.

Final Points: 1. Giugliano 171; 2. Petrucci 169; 3. Zanetti 148; 4. Barrier 132; 5. Canepa 109; 6. Antonelli 77; 7. Baroni 74; 8. Reiterberger 69; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 240; 2. BMW 193; 3. Kawasaki 99; 4. Honda 85; 5. Yamaha 16.

Superstock 600

Dutchman Michael VD Mark (Ten Kate Honda Junior Team) did all he could to win the championship at the final round, but despite his race victory Australian Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) secured his first title in this division, finishing fourth in today’s contest. Second in the race and the championship was American rider Joshua Day (Revolution Racedays Kawasaki), with van der Mark finishing third in the final points, with only one less than Day. Tomas Krajci (TK Racing Slovakia Yamaha) was a fighting third taking the final podium place and Riccardo Russo (Trasimeno Yamaha) was fifth. The final points scores are Metcher 150, Day 138 and van Der Mark 137.

Results: 1. Vd Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 18’11.759 (151,418 kph); 2. Day J. (USA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 3.787; 3. Krajci T. (SVK) Yamaha YZF R6 9.180; 4. Metcher J. (AUS) Yamaha YZF R6 11.700; 5. Russo R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 11.919; 6. Lombardi D. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 15.560; 7. Morbidelli F. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 18.821; 8. Vitali L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 20.194

Final Points: 1. Metcher 150; 2. Day 138; 3. Vd Mark 137; 4. Lanusse 101; 5. Lombardi 96; 6. Russo 94; 7. Duwelz 67; 8. Covena 50; etc.

Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:

SBK Race 1 – Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert -Liberty Racing) 1’43.453 (Lap 3)

SBK Race 2 – Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1’43.553 (Lap 2)

Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) with 10 best lap awards is the 2011 Pirelli Best Lap Winner for Superbike class: FASTEST RIDER OF THE YEAR

WSS – James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda), 1’45.638 (Lap 3)

Fabien Foret (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda) with 3 best lap awards is the 2011 Pirelli Best Lap Winner for Supersport class: FASTEST RIDER OF THE YEAR
Stk1000 – Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team), 1’45.066  (Lap 2)
Stk600 – Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France), 1’48.126 (Lap 2)

Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets.  For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.