Checa holds onto fourth as Panigale beckons

Carlos Checa World Superbike defence ends with a sole seventh place finish at Magny-Cours.
Deposed World Superbike Champion Carlos Checa has pronounced himself 'happy' with fourth position in the overall standings, despite concluding his 2012 season with a mere seventh place finish.

Keen to give the outgoing Ducati 1098R/1198 a fitting send-off before it is replaced by the 1199 Panigale for 2013, Checa was well placed in third position during the first encounter, but just as he was beginning to close the gap on Tom Sykes ahead, he crashed out at turn three.

Looking for better fortune in the drier second race, Checa struggled to keep pace with the leaders as he slipped back to an eventual seventh place finish.

Nonetheless, the result it was still enough for him to maintain fourth in the overall standings, the Spaniard pleased with his performance despite struggling to replicate the form that saw him win 15 races during a crushing 2011 title-winning campaign.

“It was a strange weekend. A pity for the crash in race 1 but conditions were difficult and the track was very slippery, these things happen.

“Then in the second I didn't have the same feelings that I'd had yesterday, the bike seemed different and was moving a lot more. This made it hard and I couldn't lap with the kind of times that I expected.

“Anyway the season is over, it was long and we had highs and lows along the way. I'm happy to close in fourth overall because considering the problems we've had I don't think the final result is bad.”

A winner of four races in 2012, Checa is expected to return with Althea Racing next season aboard the new Ducati 1199 Panigale.

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Checa, French WSBK Race 2 2012
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Otto - Unregistered

October 08, 2012 2:25 PM

Not true 'a year too late'. The 1098R was the homologated bike, and this was 1198cc from the start. The only reason Ducati called it a 1098 was that the 'normal' road bike of the time was only 1098cc, so this was done for marketing reasons. The following year, the road bike grew to 1198 anyway. The Panigalle has done pretty well in the Superstock category and Ducati always planned to take it to WSB in 2013. The same thing happened with the 1098R ... it raced in the first year only in Superstock whilst Ducati continued with the 999 in Superbikes.

RejectDonkey - Unregistered

October 09, 2012 10:01 AM

I don't care if Duacti used Rossi or not for promoting the Panigale. Rossi was never the right man for the Duacti brand. I will always remember the likes of Bayliss, Stoner, Foggy etc for being Duacti heroes. But regarding the Panigale, it seems like its handling (based on SSTK ) is just fine. But the Panigale just like the 1098R struggles with lack of power. I can't see Duacti fixing that issue in WSBK as the Panigale will run with restrictors. Ducati will struggle next year unless they pull out something spacial... maybe Stoner on the Panigale.

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