Carlos Checa insists he will learn from the accident that has blemished an almost perfect World Superbike Championship score sheet, the Spaniard coming away from his home round at Motorland Aragon having surrendered a sizeable portion of his series lead.
After a fairly low-key performance in qualifying on the way to fourth on the grid, Checa had hoped to challenge for victory in the race one, but was shuffled down to fifth as rivals Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri forged their way out front.
Fighting his way back up to third, Checa began to push to close down the gap to the leaders but was thrown into a high-side and out of the race on lap eight. His first retirement of the season, it represented a rare error by the runaway championship leader, though Checa was particularly disappointed for his home supporters.
“I am disappointed because it would have been fantastic to win here in front of the Spanish fans. We didn't need the Race one crash. I was pushing hard to close the gap between me and the leader and I slipped. I was slowly catching them and so I'm sorry because it could have been a great race.
“I don't know if I would have been able to win but I wanted to at least catch them. Anyway this is racing and I was lucky to be able to take part in race 2, despite some shoulder pain. This was a lesson today and I will learn from it.”
Even with a pained shoulder, Checa bounced back for race two, though another tardy start would leave him with too much to do against Biaggi and Melandri, the Althea Ducati settling for good points in third place.
“We changed the tyre for Race 2 and this was an intelligent decision but I wasn't able to close the gap that opened between me and the leaders. In the final stages the bike began to move around and I couldn't gain any more ground.”
Despite the somewhat disappointing points' haul, one that has seen Biaggi pull back 29 points, Checa still retains a fairly substantial 43 point advantage overall.
“I am however satisfied. We know that we're in great shape, me, the team, the bike and we'll go the next round at Brno where we'll continue to fight for race wins and for the championship.”