Carlos Checa admits he was surprised to secure a front row start for the penultimate round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Portimao, but is refusing to predict the outcome of his races.

The Spaniard stands to officially lose his World Superbike crown in Portugal this weekend, but at least put himself in a good position to win his first race since Miller Motorsports Park by qualifying in second place.

However, while Checa was pleasantly surprised to get his Althea Ducati so far up the grid, he is expecting the two races to be somewhat tougher.

"Of course we cannot predict what will happen in the races. I didn't expect this second place for example; I'm really happy but it was a little bit of a surprise. Once we put the qualifying tyre in, I found that the bike was a lot more stable and I was able to make the fast lap.

"For tomorrow I don't think our pace is bad but many riders will be fast and fighting hard up front. The race is long though and so I hope to be able to do enough to be up there with them, battling it out to the end."