Carlos Checa says he wants to conclude his World Superbike Championship defence on a strong note as he prepares to pull the curtain down on a 2012 season that didn't live up to lofty expectations.
The Althea Ducati rider was a 15-time race winner in 2011 as he ran away with the title, but while three victories in the opening four races of 2012 suggested there would be similar dominance, Checa's title challenge would stutter mid-season with a series of costly non-scores.
With just one further win coming at Miller Motorsports Park, Checa has struggled to replicate the rampant form of his title-winning year, the Spaniard suggesting the restrictions placed on the twin-cylinder 1098R have been too detrimental.
Concluding his year at the circuit where he was crowned champion twelve months ago, Checa wants to conclude his 2012 season in style before he makes his anticipated switch to the new Ducati 1199 Panigale in 2013.
“I have great memories of this track in 2011 of course! It would be nice to round off the year with a podium place but as we have seen at recent rounds that is no easy task for us now.
“I am not thinking about the points or the final classification, I have taken it one race at a time and so will continue to do that this weekend, putting all my efforts into finishing the 2012 season in the best way we can.
“It remains to be seen as to whether we'll be racing in pouring rain, always a possibility at Magny-Cours in October, but I'm prepared to do my best whatever the conditions.”
Though it hasn't been formally confirmed, Althea Racing's pre-event press release does state that this will be the final outing for the Ducati 1098R before the switch to the 1199 Panigale. Both Checa and Davide Giugliano tested the new bike last week and a deal for 2013 is expected to be announced this weekend.