Despite finishing well off for the podium for the first time this season, World Superbike Championship leader Carlos Checa insists he is pleased with his run to ninth and tenth at Monza, results that keep him ahead by a comfortable margin overall.

As expected, Checa struggled to stay in touch with his rivals around the high-speed Italian venue, the twin-cylinder Althea Ducati suffering down the straights as rivals simply drafted past.

Nonetheless, Checa held firm for two determined top ten results and while he was denied a top six finish in race two by engine problems, the Spaniard was merely relieved to reach the finish line and score some valuable points.

"We're satisfied because we were aware of our limitations before we arrived here at Monza e we knew that it would be difficult to reach the podium. In race one I had to push so hard on the straights that it probably affected the tyre because in the last laps the performance had really dropped off and I couldn't get ahead of Camier.

"In the second race we had good pace until three laps from the end when I had an engine problem. It slowed me down so much that I was lucky even to finish.

Though not close to the results achieved in the three rounds leading up to Monza, Checa was pleased with his performance, adding that he is surprised to still be leading by a good 27 points.

"I closed in ninth and tenth position today and, all things considered, these are good points for us at Monza. We leave here with a 27-point lead which surprises me to tell the truth. We're really happy and will now concentrate on the next round at Miller, where I hope to be able to make two great races."

Checa now leads Marco Melandri ahead of the next event at Miller Motorsports Park, where he was denied a probable double win in 2010 by mechanical problems.