Carlos Checa bullish over Imola chances

'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' - Carlos Checa
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.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Checa, Australian WSBK 2012
Ducati pack up for long haul, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, Misano WSBK 2017
Aprilia pack up, 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]
Eugene Laverty, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lorenzo Savadori, Milwaukee Aprilia [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Marco Melandri, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Chaz Davies, Racing Ducati [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Hayden, pitlane walk, Imola WSBK 2017
Hayden, Imola WSBK 2017

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March 29, 2012 9:49 AM

@ pcxmac How can you say that??? When has Sykes, or Kawasaki EVER run up front at Phillip Island? So clearly by that, we can see their race pace has indeed improved. And I don't know if you have access to lap times lap by lap at Aragon or other tests, but the team claims they have worked intensely on improving their pace on long runs. I don't think they're dumb enough NOT TO! And Sykes NARROWLY missed a podium at Imola last year. So based on PI performance, it must actually be hard to exclude them from podium possibility at Imola... Just a thought...

Skiwi-1 - Unregistered

March 29, 2012 6:37 PM

Just wondering if Max on the Aprilia disappears as he may have the potential to do will the Ducati's then lose their 6kg sometime soon? I'd hope so and I'd also like t see just what Guigliano is made of I suspect he might come to our attention as the season develops - I hope so anyhow.

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