Carlos Checa has paid tribute to Team Alstare for the progress it has made during the World Superbike weekend at Portimao as both Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini recorded their best results of the season.

Still struggling somewhat with the shoulder injury that has dogged him since Assen, Checa nonetheless showed flashes of promise aboard the Ducati 1199 Panigale over the course of the weekend to mingle with the chasing pack in both races.

Though grip problems and fatigue would consign Checa to ninth in race one, he would recover to finish sixth in race two, in turn notching up the Panigale's best WSBK finish to date.

"In race one I was able to keep pace with those ahead of me for the first six or seven laps. From mid-race on I started to gradually lose some grip and that, combined with a tired left shoulder in the final stages, unfortunately prevented me from maintaining seventh position to the line.

"We made small changes before race two and as a result the bike was much easier to ride, especially when it came to changing direction. It was the first time I was able to maintain a good pace for the entire race and I'm very happy with the result.

"I want to thank my entire team that has worked so hard every weekend up until now, I appreciate all that they are doing - this sixth position motivates us to continue to improve in the next races."

Similarly, Badovini's eighth place in the second race at Portimao marked his best result of the season so far.

"The DNF in race one was pretty frustrating of course. In race one we used the bike in a different configuration but I had more trouble with rear grip. Now we need to start working in preparation for Imola where I hope to be able to score better results. My compliments go to Carlos who completed a very strong second race today."



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