Carlos Checa concedes he isn't even expecting to crack the top five during the fourth round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship as the series reaches the high-speed layout of Monza.
The reigning champion has made frequent reference to the circuit being his and Ducati's nadir, the twin-cylinder machine having struggled for outright speed over the long straights of the Italian circuit in 2011.
Indeed, the 2011 Monza event was easily the toughest weekend of Checa's title-winning campaign, the Spaniard qualifying outside the top ten and finishing just ninth and tenth in the races.
Heading into this weekend's races carrying an additional 6kg compared to last season, Checa admits he is merely seeking damage limitation.
“We know that Monza will probably be the hardest round on the calendar for us and the Ducati, something we have also seen in the last two seasons," the Althea Ducati rider said. "We will do our best to take as many points as possible but realize that this weekend will be mainly about containing the damage.
“Two top ten finishes would be good, and closing inside the top five would feel like a win for us here!”
Checa is currently one point behind series leader Max Biaggi
in the overall standings.