Race day at the Ring proves to be more trying than expected for the Althea Racing Team

09 September 2012
Another difficult day for the Althea Racing team at the Nürburgring. In the two races of this, the twelfth round of the 2012 Superbike World Championship, riders Carlos Checa and Davide Giugliano had very mixed fortunes, the best result proving to be sixth and seventh position for the pair in race two.

Race 1 - hot and sunny conditions for today's races. Carlos, starting from sixth position on the grid, was already third by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately only two laps later thecurrent champion fell while pushing to catch the leading group; he was able to rejoin the race but lay in last place, twentieth, having lost precious time due to the crash. Davide, ninth on the grid, immediately made up a couple of places and was seventh after the first lap. He also suffered an unexpected crash just one lap after Carlos but unfortunatelyin his case it meant the end of his race and he was forced to return tothe garage. Carlos continued to battle hard to reach the points zone and by lap twelve, thanks to his very strong pace, he was up to fourteenth. He gave chase to those immediately ahead of him, making up asix second gap in the final laps. Maintaining a solid rhythm right to the line meant that he crossed the line in eventual twelfth position.

Race2 - not the quickest start for Carlos in race 2; he was in ninth position at the end of the first lap. Davide made a good start from the third row and was in fifth place after lap one. While Giugliano battled with Rea and then Laverty, Checa passed Baz for eighth position.
On lap four Carlos recorded the quickest lap of the race (1m56.1), obtaining the Pirelli Best Lap award. Thanks to his strong pace, the Spanish rider was able to pass two riders in the following laps and was in sixth position on lap nine, followed by Davide, seventh. Despite his best efforts, Checa was unable to get past Sykes, immediately ahead of him, gaining a few tenths through the corners, only to lose them along the straight.
He closed n final sixth position, two tenths behind Sykes, fifth. From mid-race, Giugliano began to suffer due to tyre wear and was on his own for the final stages of the race, with several seconds separating him from his team-mate Checa in front, and also from Baz, behind. He crossed the line in final seventh position.

At theend of this twelfth round, Carlos is still fourth in the standings, with 247.5 points while Davide is tenth with 125. Ducati lies third in the manufacturer's championship with 342 points, behind BMW (377) and Aprilia (384.5).

Carlos Checa:
"The crash is just one of those things - we were doing what we needed to do, pushing hard to stay with the frontrunners. It was a shame because I had made a great start and had good pace. Once I got back on track I got back into my rhythm and was able to pass several riders throughout the race. It wasn't easy because I had lost my foot pedal in the crash but I think I rode a good race from last position, and in the end was able to take a few points. The second race went better as far as the result was concerned but we cannot fight with the others, who get away in acceleration - it's an unbalanced game right now as far as I'm concerned. We need to continue fighting and doing what we can with what we have, pushing our package tothe limit and seeing what comes of it."

Davide Giugliano:
"Unfortunatelywhen you're pushing hard crashes can happen. To be with those in front,I was giving it my all and at a certain point I just lost the front. Inthe second race we at least managed to finish, in seventh. Seeing as Carlos was sixth, I think that shows that the bike's potential was more or less that today, we gave 100% but to do any more than we did was not possible. A difficult day after a fairly positive weekend. Anyway, we still have two more rounds and I would like to conclude my first Superbike season with some more positive results."

Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing:
"Twodifficult races for us today, especially the first. Carlos fell but we know that this has become customary in the sense that it is increasinglydifficult to race against the four cylinders. In race two, both riders took more care and were able to make the most of what was made availableto them but, as we saw in the final phase, they would reach the four cylinder bikes through the corners only to be caught again on the straight. It's not the fault of those who are faster than us, it's just our current problem since the start of this season. We'll try to fight to the end and make some strong races, in the hope that the situation will change in the future."

Race 1 - 1. Biaggi (Aprilia); 2. Laverty (Aprilia); 3. Davies (Aprilia).
Race 2 - 1. Davies (Aprilia); 2. Laverty (Aprilia); 3. Camier (Suzuki)


Riders- 1. Biaggi (Aprilia) 318; 2. Melandri (BMW) 308.5; 3. Sykes (Kawasaki)291.5; 4. Checa (Ducati) 247.5; 5. Rea (Honda) 225.5; 6. Laverty (Aprilia) 213.5; 7. Haslam (BMW) 189; 8. Davies (Aprilia) 156.5; 9. Guintoli (Ducati) 143.5; 10. Giugliano (Ducati) 125.

Manufacturers - Aprilia 384.5; BMW 377; Ducati 342; Kawasaki 322.5; Honda 240.5; Suzuki 120.5

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