Both Carlos Checa and Ruben Xaus insist they missed out on a better result in the second of the two World Superbike races at Vallelunga because they were convinced the red flag was going to be deployed following Max Biaggi and Kenan Sofuoglu's accident.

Checa was almost involved in the collision, caused when Biaggi high-sided in front of the chasing pack on the first lap, but it was his Ten Kate team-mate Sofuoglu that was catapulted from his bike.

A nasty-looking accident, several riders, including Checa and Xaus, backed off in the expectation that a red flag would be deployed and the race restarted.

However, this never occurred and it left both riders, forced to fight back from lowly grid slots after falling in qualifying, playing catch up.

Checa fared better than Xaus, the Spaniard making his way up the order to cross the line in fifth place, matching the result from the first race.

"Starting from 12th place on the grid was always going to be difficult so I guess that two fifth places will have to do, but of course I am disappointed. I had bad arm pump in race one and luckily I got a pretty bad start in race two.

"I just saw this huge mess in front of me which turned out to be Biaggi and Kenan. I was convinced the race would be red flagged, so I shut off the gas, along with a few other riders. When they didn't flag it, I had to try even harder to pass some riders, but the gap was just too big."

Xaus, meanwhile, endured another weekend to forget as could manage a 12th place finish. In all, the Spaniard has scored just 12 points since he winning at Misano eight races ago.

"In race two, after Max's crash, I though the race could be stopped. I lost contact with the pack because I was forced to slow down in order to avoid some rival. I lapped well but I had not the chance to fight for a prestigious result."


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