Carlos Checa says he is content to have picked up solid points with a seventh and eighth place finish at Motorland Aragon, claiming they were the best he could have hoped for on an otherwise tough weekend for the former champion.
Having spent much of the event riding just inside or just outside the top ten during free practice and qualifying, Checa's fortunes on the new Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale failed to improve in the races as he struggled to latch on the chasing pack ahead of him.
Coming home a lonely seventh in race one – despite being stung by a bee -, Checa would go on to finish eighth in race two. Even so, while the local rider admits they aren't results to aspire to, they are the best he could have achieved on the day.
“I think there has been some improvement on the chassis side, although I still had trouble through the corners – in race one I was struggling to find the apex. At a certain point I realised I'd been stung by a bee and in the final laps my shoulder started to give me some trouble, so there were definitely a few problems to contend with. Despite all that I did what I could to keep pace and was able to hold my position in both races.
“In the end it wasn't so bad. Of course we're not exactly satisfied with the race results but in these circumstances I don't think we could have done more here today. I am satisfied though with the work we've done over the weekend. I've given my technicians a lot of feedback and they've worked really hard – I know that they are capable of moving us in the right direction.
“We're looking ahead. We now have two important test days at Jerez and then we go to Assen where we hope to be able to close the gap a little.”
Like Checa, team-mate Ayrton Badovini was at least able to get on the board following his Phillip Island troubles, the Italian – who has had limited time on the bike - coming home with a pair of tenth place finishes.
“The races were not at all easy for us. In race 1 I did all I could to finish the race and take a few points, without taking any risks. In the second race I was lapping a lot better, the bike was behaving quite differently compared to the first race and I was able to push.
“We made some quite big changes to the bike between the first and second races and they made a difference. I'd say we've made a step forward. We're working well and understanding the direction we need to take.
“The tests this week in Jerez are very important for me in particular because I still haven't had a lot of time on the bike so I hope to make the most of those sessions. Here at Aragon we've collected a lot of information that we can hopefully use to our advantage in the coming weeks.”