Saturday, October 15, 2011

Champion Carlos Checa sets speed in Portugal

Posted by Admin On 11:35 AM

Newly-crowned World Superbike champion Carlos Checa clocked the fastest time in Friday's first succeeds session ahead of this weekend's round in Portugal. The 38-year-old Spaniard, who was crowned champion with a double win at Magny-Cours last time out, set a time of one minute 43.579 seconds in the afternoon session on his Althea Ducati to finish narrowly ahead of Northern Ireland's Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao.
Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli was third while Northern Irishman Jonathan Rea, who was quickest in the morning's free practice session, claimed the final overnight front row berth. Italian Max Biaggi, wearing a customized boot due to the foot injury that forced him to miss the last two rounds in Imola and Magny-Cours, was fifth, with Spaniard Joan Lascorz and Britain's Tom Sykes taking sixth and seventh spots respectively.
Checa could record the most wins in a WSBK season for 20 years this weekend. Just one win from Sunday's two races would give him 15 successes this season, which is the most since 1991 and would exceed the 14 managed by Ben Spies in 2009 and Troy Bayliss in 2002.
However, Checa will not be able to confront Doug Polen's overall record of 17 victories, set 20 years ago, whatever happens in Portimao. Checa admit he had problems with his bike's tyres and also that he had had a busy week subsequent his championship win.
He said:We've worked well again today. Maybe it was a little harder than usual with regard to the tyres because, in these circumstances, it becomes difficult to direct them after only a few laps, but everyone will have the same problem this weekend.
We were able to make the fastest time, finding a way to keep the tyres stable for a few more laps and now we're sensation more sure.I just want to relax this twilight and be ready for tomorrow since I came to the track very tired after a very busy week.


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