SBK Imola Race Two: Checa Doubles Up To Take Points Lead

The top three finishers in race two - Photo Credit: Althea Racing
The top three finishers in race two - Photo Credit: Althea Racing


Carlos Checa took his victory tally at Imola to five with another classy display in the second race of the day. Once again, Tom Sykes made all of the early running but Checa eventually reeled him in and the victory has given him a four point lead in the championship standings.

Sykes couldn't be faulted at the start and stormed clear of Checa who was forced into forceful action in an effort to take second from the fast-starting Max Biaggi. Eugene Laverty leapt up from 11th to fourth ahead of Leon Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli who lost ground at the start for the second time today.

Biaggi grabbed second on lap seven while Haslam also pressurised the defending champion but the Spaniard soon established his superiority on the next lap after finally making his move stick into Tosa. Checa now turned his attention to Sykes who capitalised on the squabbling to open up a 2.5 second lead.

By lap 14, that had been reduced to nothing and Checa chose Tosa as his overtaking place once again to the delight of the Italian crowd. A Ducati was out in front and with clear road in front of him, Checa wouldn't be beaten. Sykes did complete a brace of second-place finishes despite coming under late pressure while Biaggi rued a mistake at the Variante Bassa which helped Haslam nick third.

Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty came very close in their battle for fifth with the Honda holding the advantage when the chequered flag fell. Jakub Smrz took seventh ahead of Leon Camier, who bounced back from his race one disappointment, while Joan Lascorz and Marco Melandri completed the top ten. Further back, Chaz Davies scored his first ever World Superbike points for 14th as his early-season potential finally produced some reward.