WSBK Rider of the Year vote: 1st

You vote Carlos Checa as your World Superbike Rider of the Year.
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:
1. Carlos Checa

Nationality: Spaniard
Team: Althea Ducati
Bike: Ducati 1098R
Wins: 15
Podiums: 21
Championship points: 505
Championship position: 1st

You only have to look at Carlos Checa's previous results in's end-of-year votes to see how much his fortune has fluctuated since making his World Superbike debut in 2008, but two decades after first emerging on the international scene, 2011 was certainly his career zenith.

Though he has been well regarded on any machinery he has sampled during his lengthy career, his decision to join Althea Ducati has given him the platform to prove a fast, reliable and confident racer.

Indeed, though the original deal at the start of 2010 barely made headlines at the time, Checa did not stray too far from the news in 2011, the Spaniard dominating proceedings from start-to-finish to claim a long awaited first international title.

Setting the tone for the season with a crushing display at the Phillip Island season opener, Checa maintained his front-running form at every round with the exception of Monza, where the high-speed layout played to the Ducati's straight-line speed disadvantages.

Fortunately for Checa, the consequent strengths of the 1098R made the bike a formidable contender everywhere else. So much so that Checa missed the podium on just five occasions, at Monza, at Motorland Aragon when he suffered a rare crash, in the rain at the Nurburgring and the season concluding Portimao event.

More often than not, Checa was winning races, enough to ensure that he would end the 2011 season with the highest number of wins over a season since Doug Polen in 1991.

Long-standing arguments that the twin-cylinder Ducati commanded an advantage over the competition lingered in 2011, something both Checa and Althea persistently refuted. Still, it does not take away from Checa's achievement, the man coming of age in what may be the twilight of his career.

Looking ahead to 2012, the Checa-Ducati combination remains a formidable one, though it remains to be seen how he will contend with the additional weight heaped on by WSBK organisers in an effort to quieten rivals unconvinced that the title win was down to man, rather than machine.

Ducati are plotting a full-scale return to WSBK competition in 2013 with the 1199 Panigale, though it could do a lot worse than entrusting its development work to Checa and Althea…

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: 3rd
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: 11th
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: 7th

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:

2 - Eugene Laverty
3 - Marco Melandri
4 - Jonathan Rea
5 - Tom Sykes
6 - Sylvain Guintoli
7 - Leon Haslam
8 - Ayrton Badovini
9 - Max Biaggi
10 - Noriyuki Haga

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Checa, Team Althea Ducati, Portuguese WSBK Race 1 2011
Checa, Portuguese WSBK Race 2 2011
Checa, Portuguese WSBK Race 2 2011
Checa, Portuguese WSBK Race 2 2011
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale engine, Misano WSBK 2017
Ducati Panigale bikes, Misano WSBK 2017
Xavi Fores, Barni Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Ducati [Credit: Ducati Media]
Ducati team, Race1, Imola WSBK 2017
Brembo calipers on Ducati, Thai WSBK 2017

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December 15, 2011 3:13 PM

The posters on this site never fail to make me laugh! First it gets posted that Max was only good enough for 9th because he didn't win it on the best bike then it gets posted that Checa won because he was on the best bike. Can't have it both ways boys! lol Sykes 5th?! lol

Digger - Unregistered

December 15, 2011 2:36 PM

The rules do not favour Ducati, they never have, Ducati have won so much for one simple reason, they employ the best riders. If all you neede to win was a red bike, then the first 4 positions in WSB would have been Ducati, and saying that Checa only won because of Ducati, is ludicrous, it implies anyone (me included!) could jump on a WSB spec Duke and win, and i can assure you that wouldn't happen. A bike is only as good as the guy riding it!!! Dave ( A Honda owner!!!)

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