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Checa plots victory challenge on home soil

10 April 2010

Carlos Checa wasn't too disheartened to be beaten to a World Superbike pole on home ground in Valencia, the Spaniard maintaining that he will be a threat in the races instead.

Checa was one of the favourites to score pole position having starred throughout practice and provisional qualifying, but while his best effort was able to break into the 1min 33secs, he had no answer to Cal Crutchlow's pole-winning time.

Nonetheless, second position represents a third consecutive front row start for the Althea Racing team, while Checa will also start as the highest-placed Ducati rider around a circuit widely reputed as suiting the twin-cylinder machine.

“To start in second is great of course,” he said. “We've worked well all weekend and have resolved some small problems while others remain. On this track it is not easy, and what's important is your rhythm, keeping good pace on used tyres.

“With our set-up and my riding style we should be able to maintain pace. Tomorrow I think the race will be between Haslam, Crutchlow and a few others and we will be there with them.”

By contrast, Shane Byrne – who was provisionally fourth fastest heading into Superpole – endured a troubled Superpole session, squeezing into SP2 by just one thousandth of a second before eventually landing 12th.

"It was a very difficult Superpole”, he said. “With the first qualifier I went well while with the second I had problems. Tomorrow morning we'll make more changes to be ready for the race.”


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