Carlos Checa feels he is reaching his happy hunting ground of Imola 'at the right time' as he bids to give the Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale its maiden top five finish.

Checa has a superb record around the Italian circuit having won five of the last six races to be held at Imola, while the venue has often been considered something of a stronghold for the local manufacturer.

Indeed, though the new 1199 Panigale has struggled to fully get on terms with its rivals since its introduction, a minor step forward last time out at Portimao has given Checa added confidence that the more suitable circuit of Imola will display the bike's strengths.

"It's one of the tracks that I really like and where I've always been fast. It'll be the first time I'm riding the 1199 there and I hope that I can get back to being the best Carlos Checa, to bring the Panigale to the position that it deserves. I'm feeling really enthusiastic."

Furthermore, Checa - who has struggled for race fitness this season - believes he is now back to his best following lengthy shoulder injury woes.

"I think I'm physically fit now. In recent days I've been working hard but also enjoying some relaxation time. I'm feeling good and so hope that I won't have to think about my shoulder any more while riding. We worked well during the Portimao weekend and on race day I was a lot more comfortable on the bike. So we're coming to Imola at the right time."

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