Carlos Checa comes away from the opening round of his World Superbike Championship defence at Phillip Island celebrating a 21st career win, but also nursing some bruises after a spectacular crash in race one.
Coming into race day keen to give his title challenge the best possible start, Checa looked every inch the rider that dominated in 2011 as he quickly worked his way to the front of the field in race one.
However, just as he was coming under pressure from Biaggi on lap five, Checa pushed too hard out of the final bend and was flung into a spectacular high-side, a fast crash that he admits is the worst he has experienced since joining Ducati in 2009.
“In race one I had the worst crash that I've ever had with the Ducati. I was under pressure and pushed a little too hard. It's extremely difficult to find the exact limit with the bike, the track, and with myself and today I exceeded that limit and fell.
Unhurt in the high-speed accident, Checa dusted himself off for race two and, assisted by Biaggi's off at the first corner, proceeded to make amends with a fairly comfortable win.
“The team made a fantastic job of preparing a bike that allowed me to win in race two. In that race, I started strong and when I saw that Max had gone off track, I pushed hard to get ahead and win the race. Max made a good recovery but I was able to maintain a strong pace and bring home what is a very important win for me and for the team.”
Scoring 25 points for his troubles, Checa ends the weekend fourth in the standings, 20 points adrift of early leader Biaggi.