Checa: “You can’t automatically be at the front because you came from MotoGP”

Carlos Checa says the improved level of WorldSBK shows that those switching from MotoGP aren’t guaranteed success.
Carlos Checa, Catalunya WorldSBK 2023
Carlos Checa, Catalunya WorldSBK 2023

Alvaro Bautista is currently the cream of the crop when it comes to riders switching from MotoGP and having success in WorldSBK.

Whether it was 2019 or his return to Ducati at the beginning of last season, Bautista has been a winning machine every time he’s been in red.

His title win last season sealed what was a dominant campaign, although 2023 looks to be heading the same way in more devastating fashion.

But outside of Bautista, Scott Redding, who won the 2019 BSB title following several seasons in MotoGP, also won races with Ducati but was unable to beat the likes of Jonathan Rea (both his seasons with Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu in 2021. 

This year, Danilo Petrucci and Remy Gardner joined the series, both of whom have recent experience in MotoGP. However, both riders are yet to claim a podium. 

Not taking anything away from the talents that Petrucci and Gardner are, Checa believes the current level in WorldSBK shows that you can’t be guaranteed success just because you came from Grand Prix racing.

Speaking to, Checa said: "I think WorldSBK always had a strong grid and the performance of all the riders is quite high. We can see the evidence. 

"We see first, second, third and it seems like the others are not good enough but Petrucci won in MotoGP, Remy did really good in Moto2 but it’s not a Championship where you arrive and because you were in front in a different championship or MotoGP, you can automatically be in front. 

"There’s a lot of work, it depends on the bike and the team. You can adapt better or not. It seems like Bautista adapted perfectly and other riders, like Petrucci and probably Remy, are struggling as well. 

"I think these riders have the capacity and ability and the performance to potentially be in front. Sooner or later, if they have an opportunity, we can see them at the front."

Speaking of Bautista and the Spaniard’s current level of success, Checa doesn’t see the likes of Rea and Razgatlioglu working together to try and stop the Ducati rider.

Alvaro Bautista, Catalunya WorldSBK, 5 May
Alvaro Bautista, Catalunya WorldSBK, 5 May

"This is an individual sport, and everyone is working for themselves," added Checa. "Clearly, now, Alvaro is one step in front as Jonny and Kawasaki did in the past, as Toprak did in some moments, catching Jonny and beating him. 

"Now Alvaro has arrived and beat them. Maybe with more room or space than they expected. He’s the reference. 

"Now they need to catch Alvaro and the distance is quite big. I don’t know if they will be able to. It seems so difficult because Alvaro is controlling and riding over them, and he increased the lead quite a lot. I don’t think they will do any teamwork. 

"It’s more a resignation, it seems they cannot fight to win so they will fight for second place. So far, if there’s no problem for Alvaro and Ducati, they need to fight for other positions. 

"It’s clear that in some circuits they’ll be closer, I don’t know if they’ll be able to beat him, although it would be nice for the spectacle, because these three battling is what the fans like. 

"But they have to do a great job, with their teams, with Yamaha and Kawasaki, because Ducati has done a big step forward and have found a rider who can take profit of the bike, which is Alvaro."

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