News 29 Jan 2010

WSBK: Checa fastest in Valencia World Superbike test

Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa has topped this week’s weather-affected Superbike World Championship test at Valencia, the ex-MotoGP veteran setting an unofficial best lap of 1:33.8.

The Spaniard lapped quickest in his second outing with the new-look Althea team, edging out factory Ducati Xerox rider Noriyuki Haga, whose best lap was 1:34.0.

“We have been focused on working through the set up of the bike to make sure we have everything ready for the beginning of the world championship,” Checa explained of the test.

“After the Portimao and Valencia test I’m feeling more comfortable on both my Ducati 1198 bikes. This afternoon I scored the best lap time, that’s always something good, but I’m very happy also because I’m sure we are on the right way, ready for Phillip Island first races”.

Althea teammate Shane Byrne continued his impressive for with his new team, setting a best lap of 1:34.1, while Haga’s teammate Fabrizio was fourth fastest.

Czech rider Jakub Smrz made his debut with the Guandalini-Borciani operation now that the two private teams have united, riding a Ducati after much speculation that the pairing would form Aprilia’s satellite team.

Smrz was fifth quickest, while the two days marked a tough weekend for BMW Motorrad teammates Troy Corser and Ruben Xaus – the pair lapping in the 1:35s while further developing the factory S 1000 RR machinery under ex-Ducati man Davide Tardozzi’s management.

The teams will next test at Phillip Island in the week leading up to the race, which will mark the opening round of the 2010 championship on 26-28 February.

1. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1:33.8
2. Noriyuki Haga (Ducati) 1:34.0
3. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:34.1
4. Michel Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:34.3
5. Jakub Smrz (Ducati) 1:34.7
6. Troy Corser (BMW) 1:35.2
7. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1:35.5