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Carlos Checa at Portimao TestCarlos Checa wasn’t the fastest rider around the Portimao track during the first official testing session of the 2011 World Superbike season, but the Althea Racing team is happy with the results.

The WSBK riders only got one day with a dry track, as the second and third days of the testing session were plagued with a light rain. Checa was one of only a few riders who participated on all three days during the session, and was able to find a good rhythm around the wet track.

“We’ve worked well over the three days, it’s just been a shame about the weather,” commented Carlos. “It’s also a pity for Pirelli as I know they had brought us a selection of new tyre solutions and we weren’t able to test barely any of them. It was a useful track time after the long winter break but a great deal of the work that we had planned unfortunately didn’t get done due to the weather. It helps that my 1198 is very similar to the bike I was riding at the end of 2010 but there are a few things, like the electronics, that require more track time for me to be able to be truly confident. So we’re hoping for a positive and productive test at Phillip Island, a great track that I like a lot.”

Genesio Bevilacqua, the General Manager of Althea Racing, echoed Checa’s sentiments.

“This test has left us with a lot of work to do because, to tell the truth, we’d planned a lot of work and were only able to get part of it done here,” Bevilacqua said. “The positive thing is that the new elements in the team have had time to integrate and we’ve been able to ensure that everything is working well mechanically speaking. The team has worked really well and I’m very satisfied with that side of things. Considering that Carlos has had very little riding time over the winter, he understandably preferred to start a little cautiously. He needs to build confidence with the bike, but he nevertheless gave very positive feedback and this gives us confidence as he is an expert rider who has always provided us with very honest opinions. Even though we only got a little done, we’ve gained in confidence as a team, and this is important ahead of the opening round in Australia.”

Checa and the Althea Racing team will get one more chance to test the Ducati 1198 before the start of the season on February 27th at Phillip Island. The second official testing session for the 2011 World Superbike season will be held a week before the start of the season in Phillip Island.

TIMES (Day 3): 1. Smrz (Ducati) 1’43.5; 2. Rea (Honda) 1’43.6; 3. Laverty (Yamaha) 1’43.7; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’43.7; 5. Checa (Ducati) 1’43.7; 6. Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’43.8; 7. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 1’43.8; 8. Guintoli (Ducati) 1’44.3

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

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