The two-day testing session at the Australian track of Phillip Island only came to an end yesterday but for the Superbike teams work continues as they prepare for the inaugural round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, taking place at the same track this weekend.
Team Althea Racing and its rider Carlos Checa worked flat out during the tests to obtain some extremely impressive results.
The Spanish rider was consistently fast in every session, closing the sessions at the top of the timesheets with a best time of 1:30.578, thus improving by half a second on Regis Laconi’s lap record, set during Superpole in 2009.
Hopes are therefore high for the first two World Superbike races of the 2011 season and the team Checa are determined to take home two strong results.
Exactly a year ago, Checa, Team Althea’s new rider, faced his first Superbike races on board the Ducati 1198 and it was here at Phillip Island that he celebrated his first win of the season, powering the Ducati to victory in Race 2.
This was a fantastic result and the best way to open a racing season; both World Superbike team and Checa are hopeful that 2011 can start in a similar way.
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati Superbike) says: "Last year we had a fantastic weekend at the Island. I don’t think anyone, myself included, expected that I would take a win so early on, at the first round!
"It’s a track where top speed doesn’t count for much, and this is why, traditionally, the Ducatis have always been able to go well here. We’ve worked hard during testing and thanks to the results achieved, I’m feeling very confident. I can’t wait to get back on track on Friday!"
Checa’s Superbike form at Phillip Island:
2010: Race 1- 7th, Race 2 – winner
2009: Race 1 – 12th, Race 2 – 13th
2008: Race 1 – 6th, Race 2 – 2nd
Name: Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Length of circuit: 4.445 km
Pole Position: left
Length of straight: 835 m
Race distance: 22 laps/97.790 km
Phillip Island Lap Records: Best lap – Corser (Honda) 1’31.826 (2007). Superpole – Laconi (Ducati) 1’31.050 (2009).
2010 Phillip Island World Superbike Results: Race 1 – 1. Haslam (Suzuki); 2. Fabrizio (Ducati); 3. Haga (Ducati) Race 2 – 1. Checa (Ducati) 2. Haslam (Suzuki); 3. Fabrizio (Ducati)