Carlos Checa is hoping his dominant run to pole position at the Moscow Raceway marks a prelude to him getting back to the top of the podium as he bids to get his dwindling World Superbike title defence a significant boost.
The Spaniard, together with his Althea Ducati team-mate David Giugliano, have been difficult to beat throughout the weekend leading up to Superpole, but while the younger rider would end his pole hopes with a crash in SP3, Checa was in imperious form to go quickest by four tenths.
His first pole position of the season, Checa – who qualified first on six occasions last season – is now setting his sights on what would be his first win since Miller Motorsports Park in order to significantly reduce the 53.5 point deficit to leader Biaggi.
“I'm extremely happy with today's Superpole because this is where everything has to come together, my riding, the tyre, the bike; everything worked well and we were able to record the kind of time that we thought might be possible here.
“My first lap wasn't great but the second was pretty clean, I made no mistakes and when I saw the time I knew it would be very hard to beat. It's my first pole of the year, and doing it at this new track in Russia makes it even more special.
“The races are still to come of course, and my objective is to make a quick start and aim for the win, in the hope that conditions allow me to make two strong races.”