Carlos Checa made a successful start to the next chapter of his lengthy motorcycling career following his first try-out with the privateer Althea Racing team at Portimao.
Having been dropped by the Ten Kate Honda team, with whom he made his World Superbike debut in 2008, Checa will switch to Althea Racing in 2010 following the decision to switch from Honda to Ducati machinery.
The first time both rider and team have taken to the track with the 1098RS, although Checa was not riding the exact machine he will compete with next season, he was impressed with the bike's solid basis.
Setting a best lap of 1min 43.425secs, the Spaniard would finish the test just four tenths slower than the factory Ducati of Noriyuki Haga.
“I'm thoroughly satisfied with the results of these last two days of testing,” Checa, who raced for Ducati's MotoGP team in 2005, said. “We also improved yesterday's (Tuesday's) results. I was also able to terminate one long run and I established a good pace even though this will not be the bike we'll use in the next 2010 World Superbike Championship.
“I still have to adapt my riding style to this new bike but I really enjoy riding the Ducati 1098. In any case, the most important aspect of the two-day test session is that I realised that we have the base and potential to reach very good results. The team has been great with me and we're working really well together.”
Having taken the bold step to become a Ducati satellite team, Althea general manager Genesio Bevilacqua was delighted to see Checa already lapping faster than Matthieu Lagrive managed on the Honda over the race weekend.
”This second day test was better compared with the first one (yesterday). Carlos now knows how to better ride our Ducati 1098. He was able to improve yesterday's best lap time and to steadily reach very fast lap times.
“We are satisfied with the results reached today and know that if we continue to work in this manner we'll reach important targets and we'll compete for top positions.”