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WSBK Assen: Missed gear scuppers Checa top five aim
27 April 2013
Carlos Checa believes he could have been heading up the second row of the grid at Assen after a mistake in the final phase of qualifying prevented him from showing the Alstare Ducati's full potential.
Riding the 1199 Panigale around the Dutch circuit in the dry for the first time, Checa was in good form as Superpole got underway, hinting at his pace by ending the second knockout phase with the third fastest time.
However, having saved a qualifying tyre for the all-important SP3, a missed gear on his fastest lap would lose Checa time and force him to settle for eighth position on the grid. Despite this, the 2011 champion was pleased with the bike's competitiveness in the circumstances.
“In the third phase I missed a gear in an important and fast point of the track. I tried to make a second fast lap but I wasn't able to improve with that qualifier. Maybe my position should have been fourth or fifth today but it's ok anyway. We have to understand which direction to take in order to secure two strong results tomorrow.
“Today was our first day in the dry with a bike that's never been ridden here before and so I don't think it's gone badly considering. We're concentrating on tomorrow, although it's impossible to predict how the races will go.
“No-one's really done a lot of consecutive laps today and so pace is something of a question mark. We'll see which group we're with during the races and do all we can to fight.”
Team-mate Ayrton Badovini, meanwhile, will start from 11th position on the grid despite incurring another injury in an accident during Q2 earlier in the day and riding an entirely different bike built from the 'spare' rolling chassis.
“Unfortunately I hurt my fingers in the crash during practice. I hoped it wouldn't be a problem in the Superpole but I had a glove that was really rubbing against my hand and making the problem worse. I was also riding a bike built from the rolling chassis of course, so it was a rush for my team to get it ready in time, they worked so hard today.
“I lapped quite well with the qualifying tyre and if it hadn't been for the physical problem I think I could have done much better in the second phase of the Superpole. Anyway the work completed today gives me confidence for tomorrow's races – I'll do my best from the fourth row.”