Carlos Checa has laid down a marker at the new Moscow Raceway ahead of this weekend's first World Superbike Championship round to be held in Russia, after topping a one day group test at the all-new venue.
The Spaniard was the rider to beat throughout the day as he held down the top spot at the end of both the morning and afternoon sessions, though with lap times continuing to come down as the riders adapted to the new circuit, this weekend's event is expected to be faster.
For the time being, Checa is satisfied the circuit, which is described as having a blend of fast and slow bends, suits his Althea Ducati 1098R, though he admits the long uphill straight in the last sector could stymie his bike.
“It is a nice adventure to be here in Russia and it's a really nice track,” he said. “In some places you can only use about 15% of throttle and just keep rolling the bike. We feel quite well and this is a track where we have been working well in both the morning and the afternoon.
“We understand the line, the gearbox and the tyres. At the end we felt the tyres were working a lot better in the afternoon because probably the asphalt is less aggressive now. We are losing a lot on the straight, which is uphill, so it is not easy to manage that.”