Checa Ducati SBK
A dry track and warm conditions at Portimao today for the second round of the World Superbike championship. Thanks to the strong results achieved during the qualifying sessions and yesterday’s Superpole, Checa started from the front row and Byrne from the second.
In the first race both Althea Racing riders were immediately among the frontrunners and after a few laps, Byrne was up in fourth position, followed by Checa in fifth. Soon after however Carlos and Shakey lost contact with the leading group and battled on as part of the chasing group.
Checa pushed right to the end to reach the podium places but concluded a hard-fought race in fourth position, with Byrne behind in sixth. In the second race both Checa and Byrne made a good start and were in seventh and eighth place respectively during the initial laps.
A good race pace allowed Checa to reach the leading pack, moving into fifth and then quickly into fourth position, while Shakey unfortunately remained in eighth. In the last laps Carlos picked up his pace as he did everything to try to reach third position but he was unable to pass Crutchlow and finished once more in fourth position while Byrne crossed the line seventh.
"I am happy with the great job we’ve done this weekend and the two fourth place finishes. Of course getting onto the podium would have been better but I don’t think that we could have done better than we did today. In race 1 I didn’t make a good start and I wasn’t part of the leading pack."
"Race 2 went better, even though my start again was not great, but at least I was able to stay with the fastest guys. Unfortunately what I gained through the corners, I was then losing on the straight and so it would have been useless to take risks. Now we go to Valencia, a track where we tested a few months ago and where I’d like to do extremely well in front of my home crowd of course."
"In race 1 the setting of my 1198 was not quite right and I was not able to push to the max, also because I’m still not 100% fit. Before race two my technicians worked hard on my Ducati and it was a lot better for that race."
"I am satisfied with the results even though I know that me and my bike have the potential to do better and to push for race wins. Now we move on to Valencia. We tested there over the winter and I am sure that we will be able to further improve and fight for the positions that count."
Genesio Bevilacqua – General Manager
"Unfortunately the difference between our bikes and the four cylinders is very apparent here and so we are of course happy with these positive results. Checa has proved to be in great shape and had two fantastic races today."
"Shakey has been suffering a little after yesterday’s crash but is getting back to achieving the kids of results that we know he is capable of obtaining. We hope that in Valencia we will not suffer quite so much against the four cylinders, which really caused us a problem here."
World SBK Race 1 : 1) Biaggi (Aprilia) – 2) Haslam (Suzuki) – 3) Rea (Honda) – 4) Checa (Ducati) – 5) Camier (Aprilia) – 6) Byrne (Ducati) – 7) Toseland (Yamaha) – 8) Haga (Ducati)
WSBK Race 2 : 1) Biaggi (Aprilia) – 2) Haslam (Suzuki) – 3) Crutchlow (Yamaha) – 4) Checa (Ducati) – 5) Camier (Aprilia) – 6) Toseland (Yamaha) – 7) Byrne (Ducati) – 8) Haga (Ducati)