Reigning World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa
is feeling 'confident' of his chances at Imola in Italy this weekend as he aims to build on his race two victory at the opening round.
The Althea Ducati rider experienced the highs and lows of motorcycle racing at Phillip Island in Australia when he spectacularly high-sided out of the first race while holding the lead from Aprilia's Max Biaggi.
By contrast, Checa bounced back to triumph in the second race while Biaggi was hampered by bad luck after running off the track at the beginning of the race and dropped to last place.
The Italian mounted a spirited comeback on the RSV4 to take the runner-up spot behind Checa and holds the championship lead as he prepares for Imola.
However, Checa is in relaxed mood following a holiday after the Australian round and is enthusiastic about his chances at the Italian circuit, where he twice finished on the podium in 2011, taking third place in race one before winning the second.
The Spaniard's affinity with Ducati's home track at Imola is further underlined by his stunning double in 2010 and Checa has every reason to be in bullish mood ahead of the second World Superbike round this weekend.
“I'm feeling good after a month off. I've been skiing these last days, having a bit of fun, and now I feel ready to get back on track. We have good references at Imola of course but we need to see how we are doing compared to our rivals,” said Checa, who also holds the lap record at Imola (1m 47.934s).
“I'm feeling confident, because it's a good track for the Ducati and also a track that I really like. I have some great memories of last year's event - great emotions, great fans – and I hope it is the same again this time around.
“I always enjoy racing at historic tracks like Imola, and to do well there is always extremely satisfying.”
Checa is currently fourth in the championship table behind Biaggi, BMW's Marco Melandri and Kawasaki's Tom Sykes.
His Althea Racing team-mate, David Giugliano – who finished ninth and 12th at Phillip Island on his debut at the circuit – hopes to overcome an arm problem that flared up in Australia.
“I've done what physical training I can for the upcoming race but I'm still suffering from inflammation of the arm, which caused me problems during the Phillip Island round,” he said.
“We'll have to see how that holds up this weekend when I get on the bike. But I really like the Imola track and I love racing at home in Italy, so I hope to be able to make two strong races come Sunday.”