Having been left without a ride in the World Superbike Championship this time last year, Carlos Checa can now claim to be a man very much in demand after doing what he needed to do to claim an 'overall podium' at Magny-Cours.
A huge achievement for the experienced Spaniard, whose chances on the Althea Ducati had been largely discredited amongst some accomplished factory opposition pre-season, Checa's eventual three wins and eight podiums would see him finish third in the final standings.
Finishing as the top Ducati rider – ahead of the factory Xerox riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio -, Checa was competitive at nearly every race, overcoming a well publicised lack of straight-line speed to finish outside the top ten just twice.
Overhauling the absent Jonathan Rea during the final race, Checa – who won both races at Imola - was thrilled with the satisfying conclusion to a season that has renewed his reputation as a motorcycling legend.
“Race one was fantastic”, he said. “We put on a great performance and in the end I was able to profit from Max's error, also thanks to the fact that I took a totally different line to him.
“It was a tight race, I tried to make up ground in my braking while the four cylinders gained in acceleration. At a certain point I thought that I had got away from them but they were straight back again and we fought for the podium until the very last metre.
“In the second race, after a difficult start, I made up positions and in the end was able to take enough points to secure third place in the championship. I am very happy, and thank the team, the sponsors and everyone that has been close to us during a 2010 full of satisfaction.”
Checa will continue with Althea Ducati for the next two seasons.