Carlos Checa admits he was a little mystified as to why he lacked the ultimate pace at Magny-Cours after claiming the bike didn't feel the same as it did during testing just a week earlier.

Checa had high hopes of getting back on terms with the leaders over the weekend, particularly after qualifying when he managed to position the Ten Kate Honda onto the outside of the front row.

Adopting a risky tyre choice in the first race, although Checa briefly bothered the tail end of Troy Bayliss' Ducati at the midway point, the error of judgement would surface in the latter stages and the Spaniard would tumble down the order to an eventual seventh place.

Keeping things conservative for the second race, Checa ran a comfortable fourth for almost its entirety. Still, while he staved off the challenges of the field behind him, he couldn't bridge the gap to the top three.

Indeed, the experienced racer was somewhat bemused that he couldn't translate the form shown during testing to the races.

"It's quite strange that we had a different feeling from the test here last week, and I felt quite comfortable in warm-up this morning. In race one, we made a risky tyre choice and it didn't work out the way we wanted.

"The second race was a little better, although we had a rear stability problem exiting the tighter corners. It was costing me about three tenths of a second per lap and, towards the end of the race, I knew I couldn't fight for the podium any more."

It was a sentiment shared by team manager Ronald ten Kate, who believes the bike should have been capable of better than a seventh and a fourth place.

"Yes, it's disappointing after the good test we had here and we were at least hoping to challenge for the podium. In the first race we gambled wrongly on tyres, but the second race should certainly have been better."

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