Carlos Checa admits his World Superbike weekend at Silverstone is going better than he originally expected after qualifying on the outside of the front row in Superpole.

The championship leader had expressed his concern that the long straights at Silverstone would leave his Althea Ducati at a disadvantage, but the Spaniard has been consistently faster than key title rivals Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri.

It was form he maintained in Superpole as he went on to claim fourth place (Melandri starts sixth, Biaggi 11th), though he admits he lost some time getting distracted by Noriyuki Haga's fall ahead of him in SP3. Even so, Checs isn't convinced he was fast enough for pole position.

"I think it has been a positive day, after a solid weekend's work. It's actually going better than we expected and I'm satisfied with the progress we've made, with our rhythm and with the tyre performance. Superpole was going well but I lost a couple of tenths when Haga crashed ahead of me, I lost concentration there for a minute.

"I knew it would be difficult to make a 2m4 flat today but I'm nevertheless happy to be on the front row for tomorrow's races. I believe we have strong race pace and can fight for the podium. I think we'll be seeing some different frontrunners tomorrow, as we've seen for example that Laverty and Camier are really strong here, so I'm looking forward to two great, but tough races."


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