World Superbike Championship leader Carlos Checa insists he will 'remain realistic' heading into the two races at Assen, despite cruising to a third consecutive pole position.

The Spaniard, who has won three of the opening four races this season, displayed his superiority once more on the Althea Ducati by coolly doing enough in Q1 and Q2 to retain a qualifying tyre for Q3, unlike most of his rivals.

It was an advantage he capitalised on, emerging a clear three tenths up on second placed Jakub Smrz, though the man himself admits he was surprised with the turnaround having not topped a session all weekend heading into Superpole.

"The result, to tell the truth, came as a surprise because we were struggling a little in the first phase of the Superpole and it is easy to find yourself knocked out for just a tenth of a second," he said.

"We risked going out but were luckily able to continue and the qualifying tyres in the second and third sessions really worked well for me. In the final session I was able to make two very fast laps, one of which was very clean, without mistakes, and this way we took the fastest time.

"I didn't expect it because in the final minutes other riders were lapping very fast too but of course I am extremely happy with the result. The third pole in three races, incredible!

"I must however remain realistic; tomorrow will not be easy because we've seen that times are closer than ever. I'll do my best to get a strong start and stick with the leaders and we'll see what we can do."

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