Carlos Checa says he was ready to start the cancelled first World Superbike race at Monza, albeit only after the arrival of rain had ensured it was fully wet.
The Spaniard was one of many riders arguing against starting the race in patchy conditions, Checa insisting the combination of wet and dry patches made it too dangerous to gamble on certain tyres.
However, when the heavens did eventually open to leave a deluge on the circuit, Checa says he was actually prepared to race before Race Direction announced it would be cancelled for safety reasons.
Going on to finish seventh in a shortened second race in which only half points were awarded, Checa admits he can be satisfied with the outcome of the weekend since he was expecting to struggle aboard the Althea Ducati in normal circumstances.
“In Race 1 most of the riders stated that it was too dangerous to re-start in the mixed conditions that we had at that moment. While some parts of the track were drying, other sections were very wet and so riding with slicks would have been impossible, while it wasn't wet enough for the rain tyres. Then, when it started to rain hard, I was ready to race in 'full wet' conditions but Race Direction decided to cancel it.
“Race 2 was brief but I'm pleased with the outcome as far as the points are concerned because we were able to limit the damage as we had hoped to.”
Referring to the moment he helped Max Biaggi
back to the pit lane after his engine cut out on the return to the pit lane following the initial red flag, Checa insists he would have done the same for any other rider.
“I helped Biaggi back to the box when his bike stopped. We're rivals yes, but not enemies! I would have done the same for any rider who asked.”