Tuesday, June 1


ALITALIA Aprilia rider Max Biaggi won the first race at round seven of the HANNspree Superbike World Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah on May 31 after battling
to stay with with pole sitter Carlos Checa up until lap 19, at which point the Spaniard retired with an electical problem in his Althea Ducati with two laps to go.

Biaggi was later to say he didn't think he would have been able to beat the Spanish veteran, such was the pace he was riding at on the 1198R Ducati.

With Checa's DNF, Biaggi swept into the lead and won comprehensively. Behind him, championship leader Leon Haslam grabbed second on the Alstare Suzuki to keep his championship hopes alive, despite Biagi taking five points off him with the win.

Haslam was almost five seconds behind Biaggi at the chequered flag. The final podium place was secured by the rejuvenated Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox), who had been fastest in the morning warm-up but who expressed surprise at being on the podium.

Haga said that from the first lap the feeling he was getting from his rear tyre did not give him much confidence, then added: "But I never give up, full gas until last lap. I'm really happy for third place."

Haslam was held up when Jakub Smrz's Ducati started spewing smoke on the opening lap.

"He was leaving a lot of oil and I didn't want to follow too close. It took a fair few laps to get to the front and obviously I got gifted a second by Carlos going out, but we'll take that and if I get a bit better start in the second race, then I'll try and beat this guy next to me (Biaggi)."

But Biaggi shook his head and rolled his eyes and chuckled.

"I feel very lucky, first of all, because I think Checa deserved that race because he rode very hard. But racing's racing, sometimes these things can happen, this time was our turn, and I'm very happy."

Leon Camier was running third behind Biaggi and Checa for most of the race, but could not keep Haslam and Haga behind on the final laps. Checa set a new lap record of 1m 48.045s on lap four, 0.723 of a second under Ben Spies' one year old lap record, set in race two in 2009.

Meantime, on his way to his fifth race win of the year, Biaggi recorded a record race time of 38m 20.442s - 4.949 seconds faster over the 21 laps (103.047 km) than the previous mark, established by Ben Spies in race two last year. Biaggi's race average was 161.260 km/h compared with 160.914 km/h set by Spies in 2009.

For full results, click on: http://sbk.perugiatiming.com/pdf_frame.asp?p_S_Campionato=SBK&p_Anno=2010&p_Round=USA