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Motorsport | Superbikes

Carlos Checa © Gallo Images

Checa 'surprised' by pace



Carlos Checa has been quick to play down his pace at the two-day official World Superbike pre-season test Down Under.

If the Ducati Alstare team were hoping to fly under the radar at the World Superbike pre-season test in Australia, then they didn't do a very good job as Checa topped the timesheets.

Leon Camier set the fastest time - a 1:31.243s - on his Fixi Crescent Suzuki on Monday, but Spaniard Checa went quicker on the second day with a 1:31.059s while BMW's Marco Melandri's 1:31.237 was the second fastest time overall.

Checa admits the team didn't expect the new Ducati 1199 Panigale to be quite so fast at Phillip Island.

"I'm extremely happy with the results; it was a nice surprise to make the fastest lap, with everybody riding in the same conditions," he said. "I honestly didn't believe that we'd be at this level at this point; I thought I'd finish about seventh.

"We were already able to find a good base setting yesterday and then continued to work from there today. I like the fact that every change we make to this bike is positive and it seems that everything we do results in us going in the right direction.

"The team are working really well together and this is the first time this year that we've had good conditions that have allowed us to spend a lot of time on the bike."

Despite his success on Tuesday, Checa feels the squad can still take major strides forward.

"Working on this new project right now is one of the most satisfying moments of my life. It is an exciting challenge and today's results show that the bike has great potential and that there is still room for improvement."

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