While his victory on the Althea Ducati at Phillip Island in 2010 may have been considered a surprise at the time, there will be fewer shocks emanating from the paddock in 2011 should Carlos Checa convert his superb testing pace into race success around the Australian circuit this weekend.
The Spaniard was in outstanding form during the two-day pre-season test, topping three of the four sessions and smashing the lap record by almost half a second in the process with an effort of 1min 30.578secs.
Placing him to within a tenth of Casey Stoner's race record around Phillip Island aboard Ducati's MotoGP machine – and only half a second off the lap record outright -, the result makes Checa the clear favourite heading into this weekend's 2011 WSBK opener at the same circuit.
However, Checa is staying calm about his chances, insisting he is remaining focused on coming out ahead come Sunday.
“I'd say that the test went extremely well, we worked well with the tyres and I felt comfortable on the bike right from the start,” Checa, who finished third overall in 2010, said. “I was a little worried as we have not tested much over the winter but we did a great job here.
“I thank the entire team and also Pirelli for all their hard work which allowed me to record some fast times. We've found a strong rhythm and are very satisfied. The Ducati always goes well at Phillip Island so we'll try to make the most of this opportunity and focus on achieving great results on Sunday.”