Carlos Checa is keeping tight lipped about his race day expectations ahead of the opening World Superbike Championship round at Phillip Island despite claiming a surprise provisional pole position.

Marking Althea Racing's first ever pole position on the weekend it makes its race debut as a Ducati operative, Checa was in good form around the Australian circuit to set the fastest time of the day midway through provisional qualifying.

Although he suffered a tumble whilst attempting to extend his advantage later in the session, Checa was still quick enough to keep Michel Fabrizio at bay by seven thousandths of a second.

Coming after a winter period in which he topped the timesheets during testing at Valencia and Phillip Island, Checa was nonetheless refusing make predictions about his race chances, insisting the ever-changing conditions could make things very different come Sunday.

"I'm really satisfied with today's test. I worked very well with my technicians and we tested some different tires and settings. It's always a good result for our team to reach the provisional pole position.

"Nevertheless, we have to remember that the race will be on Sunday and that probably we'll have different weather conditions with colder temperature, but this a very good starting point.

"I would like to thank all the people in my team, and particularly the general manager Genesio Bevilacqua who was able to create such a competitive team. I hope Shakey will be all right tomorrow to fight for a good result during tomorrow's qualifications and Superpole."