Carlos Checa was left to rue the moment Ruben Xaus prevented him from scoring a morale-boosting double podium finish in the final World Superbike round of the season in Portugal.
MotoGP stalwart Checa completed a solid maiden season of racing in the series with a seventh podium of the year, even if it did come four months after the last time he stood on the rostrum back at Miller Motorsports Park.
Nonetheless, second place in the first race showcased one of Checa's best performances of the season as he battled back from a disappointing 11th on the grid to eventually prove the quickest rider on the circuit.
“Overall I am satisfied with the weekend's performance,” he said. “We had some problems during qualifying but I was able to start well and had a great feeling from the bike in race one.”
It meant he was confident heading into the second race, but while he quickly worked his way up to a top three position, Checa's hopes were dashed when Xaus fell in front of him and forced him off the track.
Although the Spaniard recovered to what would be seventh place, Checa joked that getting caught up in a Xaus accident requires more avoiding action that most riders!
“In the second race, everything felt good again and I was able to fight my way to the front. Unfortunately, things happened that were beyond our control, but this track is fantastic because, in the tarmac run-off, I was able to avoid first Ruben and then his bike.
“When Dani Pedrosa crashes in front of you, you hardly notice. But when Ruben crashes in front of you, you can hardly see the track – it is just arms and legs everywhere!”
Crucially though, his fight back was enough to snatch fourth place in the overall World Superbike standings from Max Neukirchner.