That is more than what could be said for Haga, who was also off his Yamaha. The Japanese rider was performing heroics up in fourth place with his injured collarbone but was down and out on lap six. Still, having fallen on his left side, Haga seemed to show no ill effects from the fracture he sustained earlier in the weekend as he walked away.
With several riders having to perform acrobats to avoid Haga, the order was shaken up as the field headed into the second half of the race. Indeed, Troy Corser
was now third, ahead of Jakub Smrz, Karl Muggeridge, Michel Fabrizio
and Lorenzo Lanzi.
Having shown potential race winning pace this weekend, Corser didn't take long to catch up with Neukirchner, the Suzuki rider's pace beginning to drop off at a three-quarter distance. After harassing him for several laps, Corser finally made a move stick on lap 16 coming into the Attitude chicane.
Neukirchner's rear guard action wasn't over yet though as he came under attack from an inspired Fabrizio, the Italian having suffered an awful start to drop from fourth on the grid to 14th by the end of the first lap, However, a series of scintillating laps managed to haul him right back into contention to plant a pass on Neukirchner for third on lap 18.
The move would prove to be the final significant act of the race, with Checa crossing the line a comfortable four seconds up on Corser, and riding into the arms of a delighted Ten Kate team.
Fabrizio produced his ride of the season to claim his second podium this year in third, ahead of a slightly disappointed Neukirchner.
Fonsi Nieto was prolific in his overtaking moves as he fought his way up from 13th on the grid to finish fifth, while a fading Smrz held off Muggeridge, Yukio Kagayama, Biaggi and Ryuichi Kiyonari
for sixth down to tenth.
Elsewhere, Lorenzo Lanzi, Kenan Sofuoglu, Gregorio Lavilla, Ruben Xaus
and Russell Holland rounded out the points positions.