Carlos Checa has re-established his sizeable lead in the World Superbike Championship standings after his dominant double victory from pole position at Miller Motorsports Park saw him secure a long awaited 50 points.
A year on from the heartbreak of seeing two race wins scuppered by technical issues, Checa made amends with a pair of dominant victories to add to his double triumph at the circuit back in 2008 for Ten Kate Honda.
Though a cautious approach in race one would see Checa forced to work his way back into contention, he was ahead by the end of lap six, while a strong start that had him leading into the first bend of race two was as close as it would get for his rivals as the Spaniard cruised away.
In all, Checa led 36 of the 42 laps at Miller Motorsports Park, the Althea Ducati claiming it to be just rewards for the team following last year's despair.
“Two amazing wins, especially after what happened to us here last year,” he said. “In race one I rode cautiously during the first laps as the conditions were a little mixed but after a while I found good feeling with my bike and was really able to push.
“The bike really behaved well despite the slightly strange conditions. I was able to pass those ahead of me, though it wasn't easy, and then I tried hard to build an advantage. In the final stages I stayed calm, controlled the margin and I did it!
“The feeling that I had with the bike improved for race one and I could really enjoy the race. A wonderful day, especially for my team and for Ducati. I want to thank everybody, my team, Ducati and the sponsors. This was not only a double victory but a moral victory.”
Despite victory in the races, Checa's day wasn't quite as perfect as it would seem after an ill-judged attempt to go across the grass on the warm-down lap resulted in him rather clumsily falling over the bike. Even so, Checa took the rather embarrassing tumble – which left both he and the Ducati covered in mud - in good grace.
“It was really funny because as I was returning to parc ferme', I saw some fans who wanted to give me a flag so I went “offroad” to get it only to find thick mud which caused me to crash – the happiest crash of my life I would say!”
Checa's results have seen him inflate his WSBK points' advantage from 27 to 61 points over Marco Melandri, while Max Biaggi is a point further back in third.