Carlos Checa says he refuses to lose focus on the challenge of turning the Alstare Ducati 1199 Panigale into a front runner after a tough weekend at Assen appeared to highlight the bike's general lack of pace.

Having burst onto the scene with a stunning pole position at Phillip Island, the new twin-cylinder machine has struggled to make more headlines since, with accidents preventing Checa from capitalising on his qualifying efforts in Australia before the high-speed Motorland Aragon circuit revealed the bike's top speed disadvantage.

Indeed, though Checa himself was confident the bike would fare better at the tighter Assen circuit, he instead found the machine is still down on its main rivals, raising fears that the bike is fundamentally uncompetitive as it stands.

Soldiering on to finish tenth in both races, Checa admits he didn't meet his own expectations at the Netherlands, but he maintains he is committed to turning the bike into a winner.

"In reality I thought I'd be able to do more today and bring the bike to the next level. In race one the rear of the bike caused me some problems so we made some changes before the second race and that improved the situation slightly.

"We still have a lot of work ahead of us but this does not put us off. I'm aware that this is a challenge and I will do my best to improve the bike race after race."



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