Carlos Checa set himself up perfectly for his MotoGP return in this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix by setting the fastest lap time during World Superbike testing at Aragon on Wednesday.
The Spaniard, who is riding in the final two rounds of the MotoGP season for Pramac Ducati, could only take part in the first of three days of Aragon testing before heading for Estoril.
Nevertheless, Checa finished Wednesday fastest of all for Althea Ducati with a best lap time of 1min 58.3sec, which was a full second quicker than next best rider Michel Fabrizio.
The new Alstare Suzuki rider was in turn 0.1sec ahead of 2010 world champion Max Biaggi, with former factory Ducati rider Noriyuki Haga fourth quickest for PATA Aprilia (two seconds behind Checa).
Biaggi's Aprilia team-mate Leon Camier returned to the track for the first time since breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist, just under two months ago, to claim the joint fifth fastest time with Kawasaki's Tom Sykes. Both Brits were just 0.1sec behind Haga.
“I was pleased with how it all went today” said Camier. “We knew Carlos Checa on the Ducati would be fast as they tested here not that long ago, but it's really encouraging to see how fast we compared to the others, especially considering my injury and how long I've been off the bike.”
After Camier and Sykes were Troy Corser (BMW), Katsuaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki), Lorenzo Baroni (Ducati) and Leon Haslam (BMW).
Testing continues without Checa on Thursday and Friday.