Carlos Checa says he was lucky not to break any bones after suffering 'one of the biggest high-sides' of his lengthy career, an accident that left him with a few bruises and limited his track time on the opening day of World Superbike action at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard came into the race weekend looking to build on the encouraging form of pre-season testing earlier in the week, but he would complete just seven laps in FP1 before a high-side at Siberia sent him 'up a long way'.
Hurting his left shoulder and right foot, Checa did return to the circuit in the afternoon for a handful of laps, but admitted discomfort when rear-braking the Alstare Ducati 1199 R.
Suspecting a set-up change was a contributing factor for the accident, Checa was frustrated to lose more track time, but is confident he will bounce back in qualifying and the races.
“I was looking forward to today and improving the bike after the official tests, but things didn't turn out how I wanted. This morning, after only seven laps, I crashed exiting Siberia. It was one of the biggest highsides of my career and I think I went up a long way before hitting the track.
“I was lucky not to break anything but I hurt my left shoulder and my right foot, which is a bit of a problem because I use the rear brake quite a bit. The crash ended the session for me, but fortunately I was able to get out in the afternoon, put in some laps and get a time. Once again, I completed seven laps and ended 12th fastest overall.
“It was a shame because, up until the crash, we had been heading in the right direction with the bike once more. We'd changed the set-up just before the crash, but we'll have to look at the telemetry before we draw any conclusions.
“In the afternoon we went back to the original set-up - the one we'd used in testing - to make sure of a decent lap time. I'm sorry for all the work I've caused the mechanics, but hopefully I will feel better tomorrow morning and we can get back to improving the bike.”
Meanwhile, team-mate Ayrton Badovini, already struggling with injuries sustained in a crash during pre-season testing, suffered another costly fall that has left him nursing a swollen ankle. Despite this, the 'destroyed' Italian insists he will persevere with the race weekend.
“The last thing I wanted today was another crash, but that's what happened! I banged my right foot and later, when I took my leathers off, the ankle was pretty swollen. Before the crash, which happened at the last corner (so it was pretty fast!), I could manage the left turns OK, but the right-handers were causing me some problems.
“I was finding it difficult to push hard in the right turns. So, if we can improve the set-up of the bike for right-handers, it will make my job a bit easier. At the moment I feel a bit destroyed, but I'm sure I will feel better after a good night's sleep and some massages.”