Carlos Checa is feeling confident about his chances of challenging for victory at the Nurburgring after just missing out on pole position.
The Spaniard has been in good form throughout the weekend and was looking on course for pole position with a benchmark-setting 1min 54.621, only for Max Biaggi to get the better of him.
Checa could have been on pole position, however, as his ideal lap time shows him to be two tenths faster than Biaggi, the Althea Ducati proving especially fast through the low-speed first sector especially.
Despite this, Checa is feeling good heading into the races as he continues to build on his status as Ducati's top rider in World Superbikes currently.
“These two days have been very positive”, he said. “We've worked well from the word go making the right tyre choices and obtaining good overall balance. The important thing was to secure a good grid position and, that done, now we have to give it our all in the races. I thank my team as, as always, they have worked really hard to provide me with a competitive bike.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Shane Byrne endured another torrid qualifying session after a fall early on in SP1 left him with little chance to set a representative lap time. The Briton, who had been eyeing a front row spot following practice, will start 17th.
“Unfortunately I crashed right at the start and, by the time I got back on track, I didn't have time to improve on my position. Tomorrow will be hard but I will do my best to make up positions right from the first lap.
“I want to thank my team as they gave me a great bike and I apologise to them for my stupid mistake. Luckily, race day is tomorrow and that is the important thing… my pace is very good so I'm hopeful that I can make two great races.”