Carlos Checa feels he is well placed to give the ultra-successful Ducati 1198 a fitting end to its World Superbike tenure after the outgoing champion qualified second at Magny-Cours.
Returning to the venue where both he and Troy Bayliss sealed their respective 2011 and 2008 titles on the 1198 iteration of the machine, Checa suggests Magny-Cours is the ideal place to bid farewell to the machine before Althea makes the anticipated switch to the new 1199 Panigale Superbike.
Since Ducati introduced the twin-cylinder 1198/1098R in 2008, it has participated in 151 races, won two riders' titles, three manufacturers' titles and claimed 50 race wins in the hands of Bayliss, Lorenzo Lanzi, Ruben Xaus, Noriyuki Haga, Michel Fabrizio, Carlos Checa and Sylvain Guintoli.
Looking to secure fourth position in the overall riders' standings, Checa was pleased to qualify on the front row of the grid, the Spaniard saying that he wants to 'close this chapter' of his career with more wins on the bike that has helped him to success over the last three seasons.
“I have some great memories of this track last year of course while this year we are saying farewell to the 1198. For this reason I'm really happy to be on the front row, and I hope to be up there with the leaders right through the races.
“This bike has had a long history, and a successful one, and it would be nice to close this chapter of my career by scoring the best possible results with this bike for the last time. Tomorrow we'll see what the conditions are like, seeing as they forecast rain overnight tonight, and I'll push as hard as I can to finish 2012 on a high note.”
Checa and Davide Giugliano are expected to stay with Althea Racing in 2013 aboard the new Ducati 1199 Panigale.