Its pilot, Carlos Checa, struggled aboard the Ducati 1198R Superbike, and was only able to finish ninth in Race 1, and 11th in Race 2. Regardless, Checa still retains the World Superbike championship lead with 145 points, 27 over Yamaha Racing’s Marco Melandri (Ducati also leads to Constructors race by five points over Yamaha).In Race 1 at Monza WSBK, Checa, who started from 11th on the grid, found himself stuck in traffic, dropping back to 13th by the first corner.The Spanish Ducati rider made up four positions in four laps, but then lost time while battling with Aprilia’s Leon Camier. Due to this battle, Checa couldn’t catch the lead group, and finished ninth, Althea Ducati reports.Checa got a better start in Race 2, moving up to sixth place. But once he built a decent rhythm, he had some engine troubles on the 1198R, eventually finishing in 11th.Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R Superbike) says: “We’re satisfied because we were aware of our limitations before we arrived here at Monza e we knew that it would be difficult to reach the podium.“In race 1 I had to push so hard on the straights that it probably affected the tyre because in the last laps the performance had really dropped off and I couldn’t get ahead of Camier. In the second race we had good pace until three laps from the end when I had an engine problem. It slowed me down so much that I was lucky even to finish.“I closed in ninth and tenth position today and, all things considered, these are good points for us at Monza. We leave here with a 27-point lead which surprises me to tell the truth. We’re really happy and will now concentrate on the next round at Miller, where I hope to be able to make two great races.”The 2011 World Superbike Championship heads to Miller Motorsports Park in the USA May 27-29, a circuit where Checa has posted great results.