Carlos Checa insists he is happy with his third and seventh place finishes on home soil at Motorland Aragon, but has reiterated his frustration at seeing much of his hard work persistently undone along the straightaways.
The Spaniard has previously identified Motorland Aragon - with its huge back straight - as being one of the Ducati 1098R's weaker circuits, a fact proven when he emerged as the manufacturer's best qualifier in a fairly modest seventh position.
Faring better come race day, Checa says the bike was impressive through the bends, but the speed differential between his twin-cylinder Ducati and his four-cylinder rivals was simply allowing them to regain time and positions along the back straight.
Indeed, with Checa's bike proving around 20km/h slower than its rivals at the top end, the reigning champion would find himself embroiled in the chasing pack all day. Even so, after benefitting from Tom Sykes and Ayrton Badovini's crash in race one to claim an unexpected podium, Checa says he can be satisfied with the results.
“To close in the top five would already have been a good result so to reach the podium was pretty unexpected to be honest,” Checa, who is now 73 points behind Max Biaggi in the standings, said. “It's always great to score this kind of result when you're racing at home. I thank all of my team for their hard work and also the public for their enthusiasm. We had a little luck at the end of race one – I was sorry for what happened between Badovini and Sykes, and pleased they were unhurt.
“The second race went fairly well, in the sense that my rhythm was a bit better but I was unable to get past those ahead of me. They slowed me down a little through the corners and then I was losing out to them on the straight. It's difficult to race in these conditions, you have to force every manoeuvre, pushing so hard in the last part of the track to make up for what you lose on the straight.”
Checa's sentiments were echoed by Althea Ducati team-mate Davide Giugliano, who notched up a pair of top ten finishes in eighth and tenth.
“I think that if this was track was all corners, and no straight, Carlos and I could have finished first and second. In the second race I had a better pace than in the first, and so even though I finished tenth, it meant I was only ten seconds from the winner, which is pretty good. We were all very close in race 2.
“I'm also satisfied that I came in as the second Ducati after the one ridden by the world champion Carlos, I don't think that's bad either. It wasn't easy today, Carlos and I have to battle just to stay in the middle, just to stay close to those with superior top speed. Anyway, I've taken some points and now we move on. I thank my team for all their hard work over the weekend.”