2011 WSBK Monza Race 2 Result: Last-Corner Pass Settles Action-Packed Thriller

Results and summary of World Superbikes race 2 at Monza:

Eugene Laverty has taken the double at Monza, by winning a bizarre and nail-biting second World Superbike race with an icy cool last-corner pass.

After the first chicane, you would have got very long odds indeed on Laverty taking the win. BMW's Troy Corser once again got the holeshot, the Australian veteran leading Aprilia's Max Biaggi through the chicane just as he had in race 1. But behind Biaggi, chaos was unleashed as Carlos Checa cut across the nose of Johnny Rea, causing the Castrol Honda rider to crash, taking Jakub Smrz and Leon Haslam with him. Laverty had also got tangled up in the chaos, and ended the first lap way down in 9th, nearly 4 seconds behind Biaggi, who had taken the lead from Corser as the bikes passed the main straight.

From that point on, the race looked like turning into an Aprilia demolition job: Biaggi led and was pulling away from the rest of the field, with only his teammate Leon Camier for (distant) company. Biaggi's lead grew as the laps ticked off, but on lap 8, the first fly in Aprilia's ointment appeared when Camier lost the front at Lesmo, crashing out for no apparent reason.

Three laps later, it was Biaggi's turn to make an unforced error: The reigning World Champion outbraked himself going into the Prima Variante chicane, and ran straight on to rejoin the track. Unfortunately, Biaggi had not followed the strict instructions the riders had been issued with prior to the event, and stuck within the white lines as he reentered the track. The Italian was called in for a ride-through, losing the nearly six second lead he had built up, and rejoining the race in 11th.

With both Biaggi and Camier out of the equation, the race was once again blown wide open. Corser had dropped back through the field, and it was Yamaha's Marco Melandri who bequeathed the lead from Biaggi. On his tail was Eugene Laverty, the Irishman and winner of race 1 having sliced through the field after having been held up at the start. The two Yamahas had a small gap over 3rd, which was subject to a brutal dispute between Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio. There were four candidates for the podium, but the order was by no means settled.

Melandri looked to have the best claim to victory, the Italian leading the race throughout. Try as he might, however, he could not shake off his shadow, in the form of his teammate Eugene Laverty. It was clear that Laverty was lining up a pass, the only question was exactly when he was going to attempt the move on his teammate. The length of time Laverty was prepared to wait was a display of icy calculation not seen in a long while. Despite having chances on the final lap, when Melandri ran wide out of Ascari giving Laverty room to pass, the Irishman kept his calm, backing off to stay right on Melandri's tail. As the pair entered the final corner, Laverty pushed Melandri on the brakes, then held the tighter line as the Italian ran wide, exactly as the Irishman expected. Laverty seized the lead, and hung on to cross the line just a few hundred meters later, adding his debut double to the debut win Laverty bagged in race 1. Melandri was left holding 2nd, with nothing he could do about.

After an epic battle between Fabrizio and Haga, featuring brave, foolish and spectacular passes by both parties on each other, it was Fabrizio who came out on top in the end, snagging the final step on the podium. Haga was left holding the wooden spoon in 4th, though not for want of trying. Carlos Checa looked like profiting from Biaggi's mistake by finishing ahead of his main title rival, but the Spaniard's Ducati lost drive in the final corner, dropping the Althea Ducati rider two places, and putting Biaggi ahead of him. Still, Checa came away from Monza leading the championship, his advantage cut, but still 28 points over Biaggi. Melandri's strong results pushed the Italian up into 2nd, 1 point ahead of the reigning champ, and 27 behind Checa.


Pos No. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 58 E. LAVERTY IRL Yamaha YZF R1  
2 33 M. MELANDRI ITA Yamaha YZF R1 0.327
3 84 M. FABRIZIO ITA Suzuki GSX-R1000 2.466
4 41 N. HAGA JPN Aprilia RSV4 Factory 2.583
5 11 T. CORSER AUS BMW S1000 RR 4.502
6 86 A. BADOVINI ITA BMW S1000 RR 10.865
7 50 S. GUINTOLI FRA Ducati 1098R 11.038
8 1 M. BIAGGI ITA Aprilia RSV4 Factory 18.724
9 17 J. LASCORZ ESP Kawasaki ZX-10R 20.093
10 7 C. CHECA ESP Ducati 1098R 20.376
11 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki ZX-10R 21.111
12 111 R. XAUS ESP Honda CBR1000RR 28.608
13 44 R. ROLFO ITA Kawasaki ZX-10R 33.459
14 8 M. AITCHISON AUS Kawasaki ZX-10R 42.810
15 32 F. LAI ITA Honda CBR1000RR 55.759
RET 121 M. BERGER FRA Ducati 1098R 5 Laps
RET 2 L. CAMIER GBR Aprilia RSV4 Factory 11 Laps
RET 96 J. SMRZ CZE Ducati 1098R  
RET 4 J. REA GBR Honda CBR1000RR  


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Poor Max! Wow, there's gotta be a better penalty than that for a rider who gained absolutely no advantage at all. Maybe dock him a few seconds? But a ride through? Ouch babe!

But I think a 5-10 second penalty would have been more appropriate. That track looks a bit dangerous in several spots, though very exciting, and that first turn seems to just be without thought.

What is more dangerous? A high speed turn one like Valencia or a goofy chicane like Monza or even Catalunya?

that penalty is necessary, if not rider in the first position can simply go straight through chicanes and gain a few hundredth seconds (claiming that they don't get position advantage) per lap.

He made a gain of around four tenths going by the UK commentary (which is terrible by the way).

He did a 1.43.7 lap during the infringement lap, which was 0.1 second faster than his previous lap but 0.7 seconds down on his own fastest lap. You should take the UK commentary with a massive grain of salt, they're not the worst but make so many mistakes. They said Max lost 19seconds due to the ride through when it was more like 27seconds.
It looks like he did cross the white lines when re-entering the track but in all fairness, he was 100s of metres ahead of the next guys. Was a ride-through really the right thing? He was eons faster than everyone in that race and deserved the win.

Surely Checas first corner lunge which took out 3 other riders warranted a ride-through more than crossing a white line when in acres of space?

That said, I'm delighted for Eugene, he rode the most masterful last lap I've ever seen and it was nice hearing Amhrán na bhFiann at the end of a WSB race. If he keeps this up, he could replace Edwards in Tech 3 next year...

The penalty is about the white lines, not the time gained. There was a meeting before the week end started and they made clear that in case you cut the chicane you have to be on the left side of the white lines (corridor) so as you can rejoin the track safely. You can see on the video that he's riding on the wrong side. (That's also why the marshall on the background is waving his arms in disbelief...) Note that Haslam and Haga really made sure they were on the right "line" by flicking the bike quite early to the left when they knew they wouldn't make the turn.

Apparently Biaggi didn't attend this meeting, so he probably didn't even know about the white lines rules.

Like somebody said, it's hard to feel sympathetic for Biaggi. He's making so many mistakes on and off the track, just about every time now.

He's the most experienced rider, he should know better.

Can't wait for Miller !

Quick off-the-subject comment: The commentator Johnathan Green really is the shallowest, most vapid commentator EVER! I swear if I hear him say, "no love lost between those two," one more time...

I like Johnathan Green. He's really energetic; it's quite humorous.

has developed a great style the way he hangs off that R1..is there anyone out there sharper on the brakes? A World double 4th time out on a Superbike..fantastic stuff!

I don't think Casey and Jorge will be pencilling in a move later in their careers, if this type of battling is anything to go by..

With what Rossi said recently about the riders currently in GP, I would think that he is becoming more and more interested in mixing things up with the guys in the WSBK paddock. I wonder if I could get odds in Vegas for Rossi running a full season in WSBK in the future. I figure he will have at least one one off ride for Ducati at some point (maybe this year if his season doesn't drastically improve) in WSBK. I would sure love to see that race. And for good measure get Nick, Simoncelli and maybe even Colin and/or Ben involved at the same round.

With the "interesting" 21L fuel limitation in MotoGP, Infront should buy out Dorna, scrap MotoGP and merge riders from both series into WSBK, keeping the only MotoGP rule that should apply: No rookies on a factory team.

Oh well, this is only a wet dream for us.

I just re-watched both races and Laverty was truly brilliant in both. Yes, he had help from Max in Race II, but it was almost like watching Spies in his WSBK role. Eugene threw down exactly what he needed to get the job done against some truly stiff competition.

His strategy in Race I was maddeningly perfect against a hot-headed competitor like Max. To even have the speed to pull that strategy off was in itself a feat, but to manage the consistency with which he rode was truly spectacular. Then, switching his strategy to beat his teammate (no slouch by a long shot) in Race II, after coming from deep in the field after turn 1 and then almost losing it again early on, was the act of a real thinker.

I am thrilled that he's showing the same talent he had in SuperSport and can't wait to see him fight for the lead in the championship.