Crutchlow and Biaggi take wins on final day
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia) shared the race wins this weekend, the last one of the 2010 season. The action did not disappoint even if the championship was decided last weekend in favour of Biaggi, and throughout the field the final championship ranking places were still up for grabs.
Max helped win the Manufacturers' Championship for Aprilia, and in winning race two took his overall win score in 2010 to an appropriate ten. Aprilia won the Manufacturers' title by 47 points.
Race one podium man Leon Haslam (Suzuki Alstare) ended his season with 376 points to Biaggi's 451, but Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) ended up moving into third, despite the brave efforts in race one of injured rider Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) who had to pull out of race two. Checa now finishes with 297 points, Rea has 292 and after taking a win and a second today, Crutchlow is fifth, only eight points behind Rea. Noriyuki Haga ended his final day in his current team sixth in the standings, on 258 points.
Despite being excluded from race one for ignoring a ride-through penalty, Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) went fourth in race two and seventh overall. He ended his rookie WSBK season two points ahead of race two podium finisher, Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox). James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda) dropped to overall ninth, after two no-scores today. Tenth in the rankings was Shane Byrne (Althea Racing Ducati) after Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) no scored today, and finished 11th. Tom Sykes was top Kawasaki rider again, in today's races and the championship itself, taking his official Kawasaki Racing Team machine to 14th in the rankings.
Crutchlow had an eventually lonely win, by 3.779 seconds, in the first race at Magny-Cours but an intense battle behind went to Haslam and Checa as they passed Biaggi for the final podium places in the final chicane. In fourth Biaggi still scored enough points to give Aprilia the Manufacturers' Championship. Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Aprilia) was fifth.
Cal Crutchlow: "It was a weird race for me really, leading from the front for most of the race. I didn't think anybody would break away, Max seemed to be holding the group up so I though let's get in front of him. I thought he or the group would come with me, but managed to pull out a gap. All credit to Sterilgarda Yamaha, we did a good job in this race."
Leon Haslam: "We've not had the best of weekends, qualifying in tenth place but I got a good start and had a fantastic battle with loads of different guys. To catch Max and be in that position on the last lap I had to have a go. Imola was going through my mind, the first race when I went off, but I made it stick this time and I'm really happy for Alstare and the boys."
Carlos Checa: "A big thanks to Leon for the third place! It was an exciting race and I thought I could get the podium, I was fighting for second and Max passed me and Leon, I got involved in that group but it was difficult. After I see the fighting between Leon and Max, I see Max open the line, touch the corner and I thought this is my opportunity, I had better drive and on the exit I got the third place. It was fantastic, a real surprise and a nice result."
Biaggi underlined his championship status with a win in race two, holding off a determined Crutchlow by only 0.087 seconds after 23 laps of close action. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox Team) pushed his way past Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare) in the final chicane entry to take third. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) was fifth.
Max Biaggi: "My condition was bad all weekend, I had a bit of high fever. Race 1 was not so bad but I couldn't breathe properly. Race 2 I wanted to finish on the podium, I pushed very hard, had a little moment half-way through. I tried to not make any mistakes. We wanted to make a good result for the end of the year and I'm proud of helping Aprilia to win the Manufacturers' title."
Cal Crutchlow: "It was a close race, enjoyable for me. I had to catch up from a bad start. All credit to Max he rode fantastic. It was an incredible race win, I couldn't do anything about it. He won the championship so to be battling with him at the end it's been good for me. I came into the championship with high expectations, and I'm pleased with the fifth place overall."
Michel Fabrizio: "It was a great battle with Guintoli. I really wanted the podium both for myself and for my team, so I could finish the season off well with them. I'd like to thank Ducati for the last three years, as well as the team, it's been great. Now I have to look to the future!"
Pirelli Race Tyre Selection (Front/Rear): All riders on same solutions with the exception of Lanzi and Lai who changed to the "C" front and Hayden who changed to the "B" front for Race 2.
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) won his second Supersport World Championship after finishing second behind Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) today. Sofuoglu ends the season with 263 points, Laverty 252. In a thrilling race for Chaz Davies (Triumph BE-1 ParkinGO) he passed several riders on the final laps to take third in the race, and fourth in the championship, behind injured and absent Kawasaki Motocard.com rider Joan Lascorz. Michele Pirro (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) is fifth in the points, on a total of 99. There were four race winners this year, the leading 'big three' and Pirro, who took his win last time out in Imola.
Maxime Berger (Hannspree Ten Kate Junior Honda) pushed hard from the start and took his reward with his first win of the year, the first time this season that champion Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italy Superstock) has been beaten in a race. Badovini was second today, 4.7 seconds back, while front row starter Sylvain Barrier (Garnier Junior Team BMW) was third. In the points, Badovini fishes the season with 245, and Berger is second, on 147.
Official Tyre Supplier
Under especially splendid French weather where track temperatures reached 30C, the conditions were adequate for Pirelli's new compound Qualifier, with which Crutchlow put his Yamaha on pole recording new Best Lap of 1'37.699 in the third session. Many SBK riders performed well in the two races with the new "A" soft rear tyre solution (SC1) and one of the three available front solutions, among which were the "B" and "C" (new SC1 and SC2) as well as the "A" reference tyre for 2010. Nearly the entire SSP grid chose the "A" front and "A" rear tyre solutions, which correspond to the new SC2 compound Diablo Supercorsa pair. Pirelli closes the 2010 WSBK racing season with excellent development results: five new Diablo Superbike solutions from SBK, three new Diablo Supercorsa solutions from SSP and one new size from Stk1000 (200/55R17) have been confirmed for Pirelli's racing range for 2011. With the recent championship title awarded to Aprilia, SBK has now seen five manufacturers earn the prestigious title of Superbike World Champion since Pirelli became sole tyre supplier in 2004, while in all the 16 years prior, only three manufactures obtained the title. Pirelli congratulates the 2010 Pirelli Best Lap award winners, Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Honda) and all the riders competing in this season for their impressive efforts and valuable feedback.
Pirelli Performance Awards:
SBK Race 1 - Pirelli BEST LAP
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Superbike), 1'38.781 (Lap 3)
SBK Race 2 - Pirelli BEST LAP
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha World Superbike), 1'38.878 (Lap 5)
Total BEST LAP (SBK): Crutchlow C. (Yamaha World Superbike): 8*, Checa C. (Althea Racing): 7, Rea J. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 5, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 2, Haslam L. (Suzuki Alstare): 2, Guintoli S. (Suzuki Alstare): 1, Fabrizio M. (Ducati Xerox Team): 1
WSS - Pirelli BEST LAP
Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda), 1'42.295 (Lap 9)
Total BEST LAP (WSS): Sofuoglu K. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 5*, Laverty E. (Parkalgar Honda): 5, Lascorz J. (Kawasaki Motocard.com): 2, Pirro M. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 1
Stk1000 - Pirelli BEST JUMP FORWARD
Lorenzo Zanetti (SS Lazio Motorsport), from 9th to 4th (5 positions)
*Best Lap Winner 2010: Fastest Rider of the Year