Following his impressive headline-grabbing turn during free practice and qualifying, Niccolo Canepa could not hide his disappointment after crashing in both races at Laguna Seca.
Standing in for the injured Carlos Checa this weekend, Canepa was a revelation during the first-half of the weekend as he put the occasionally troublesome Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale into the upper echelons the timesheets from the off.
Proceeding to qualify in fourth position in only his second WSBK outing of the year, Canepa fortunes would nonetheless unravel in both races, the Italian falling at the final turn in race one before sliding off on lap two of race two.
Remounting to finish in 15th in the second race, thus picking up the final point on offer, though Canepa was understandably frustrated at failing to turn his evident pace into results, he was nonetheless pleased with his weekend as a whole.
“It's a pity about the race results, especially race 2 as I felt good and was keeping pace with those in front without too much difficulty. The changes we made this morning were very useful and the front of the bike gave me a good feeling.
“Unfortunately Melandri forced me a little wide through the second turn and, not wanting to lose ground, I pushed too hard and crashed. Luckily the bike was ok even if the gear shifter was broken, and I was able to return to the track and finish the race.
“Summing up the weekend I think we've done a good job here, considering our performance in the practices and qualifying. We were able to place inside the top five in several sessions, and qualify fourth. I think we've demonstrated this weekend that the bike can run up at the front and, if we had more time and more races during which to work, it would surely become easier and more enjoyable.”