MotorcyclesWorld Superbike

Sykes Shines In Germany As Checa Increases Lead

3 Mins read

Tom Sykes claimed his maiden World Superbike win on a memorable day at the Nurburgring which also saw Carlos Checa move a step closer to being crowned champion. The Spaniard capitalised on the withdrawal of title rival Max Biaggi by winning the opening race before finishing a safe eighth in torrential conditions later in the day.

Biaggi was already facing an uphill task to hold on to his title, beginning this weekend 62 points in arrears, but an accident on Friday saw his chances of overhauling Checa virtually disappear. The Italian suffered a badly bruised foot after being struck by debris on Friday and although he managed to qualify on the front row, the pain proved strong enough to keep him out of both races.

Starting from pole position, Checa was expected to take his 11th win of the season and he duly did, although he was forced to fend off the charging Noriyuki Haga in the early stages before surging clear.

The two factory Yamahas enjoyed an entertaining battle for third after a mistake from Marco Melandri had brought Eugene Laverty onto his tail. Melandri managed to pull away from his younger teammate before snatching second from Haga five laps from home. Laverty finished a distant fourth while Leon Haslam recovered from an early trip through the gravel to take fifth from Sylvain Guintoli.

The conditions transformed completely for race two with sunshine replaced by heavy rain, making conditions nigh on impossible for the riders. Victory should have been Haga's with the PATA Aprilia man leading throughout, but just a lap before race direction called a halt to proceedings, Haga crashed out of the lead, promoting Sykes who had just made it past the Effenbert-Liberty Ducati of Guintoli.

As it turned out, Sykes only led a single lap but crucially, it was the last one. Guintoli was classified in second while teammate Jakub Smrz claimed the final place on the podium after Jonathan Rea slid off the track at turn one.

The Castrol Honda rider remounted to take fourth while Eugene Laverty was furious despite finishing fifth, feeling the organisers shouldn't have allowed the race to go ahead in such conditions. With Marco Melandri only sixth, eighth was more than good enough for Checa whose cautious approach paid dividends again.

With just three meetings, and six races remaining, Checa could mathematically clinch the championship in two weeks time at Imola. The Spaniard has to outscore Melandri by 24 points and Biaggi by five in order to seal the title with four races to spare.


Riders Championship (After Round 10: Germany)

Pos Rider Nat Bike Team Wins Pts
1 Carlos Checa SPA Ducati Althea Racing 11 376
2 Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha Yamaha World Superbike Team 3 302
3 Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team 2 281
4 Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha Yamaha World Superbike Team 2 232
5 Leon Haslam GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport   176
6 Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team   154
7 Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Team Suzuki Alstare   141
8 Sylvain Guintoli FRA Ducati Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing   139
9 Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team   134
10 Noriyuki Haga JAP Aprilia PATA Racing Team Aprilia   115
11 Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 1 114
12 Jonathan Rea GBR Honda Castrol Honda 1 113
13 Joan Lascorz SPA Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team   111
14 Jakub Smrz CZE Ducati Team Effenbert-Liberty Racing   109
15 Troy Corser AUS BMW BMW Motorrad Motorsport   67
16 Ruben Xaus SPA Honda Castrol Honda   44
17 Maxime Berger FRA Ducati Supersonic Racing Team   42
18 Roberto Rolfo ITA Kawasaki Team Pedercini   39
19 Mark Aitchison AUS Kawasaki Team Pedercini   24
20 John Hopkins USA Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing   20
21 Chris Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team   14
22 James Toseland GBR BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team   13
23 Lorenzo Lanzi ITA BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team   10
24 Josh Waters AUS Suzuki Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team   8
25 Matteo Baiocco ITA Ducati Barni Racing Team   4
26 Alessandro Polita ITA Ducati Barni Racing Team S.N.C   3
27 Barry Veneman NED BMW BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team   3
28 Jon Kirkham GBR Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing   3
29 Viktor Kispataki HUN Honda Prop-tech Ltd.   1
30 Alex Lowes GBR Honda Castrol Honda   1
31 Fabrizio Lai ITA Honda Echo Sport Racing Company   1
32 Bryan Staring AUS Kawasaki Team Pedercini   1
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